MLAX : PREEMPTIVE STRIKE: SU scores 7 in 1st quarter, holds off Army to avenge tournament loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse sent the message early. Army wasn’t leaving the Carrier Dome with another win. Not this time. The Orange wouldn’t let it happen and took command of the game early. And for SU, it’s a good thing it pulled away quickly.Army made a comeback bid that had another upset looking increasingly possible.‘Fortunately, we got off to a very good start against West Point,’ SU head coach John Desko said. ‘Which is a good way to play them if it can happen.’Syracuse found a way to hold the lead over Army and fought off the comeback attempt for an 11-9 win in front of 4,443 inside the Dome. The No. 1 Orange (2-0) went on a scoring run in the first quarter that proved to be the deciding factor in the game. Syracuse started to struggle after the quarter, though, while No. 17 Army (1-2) came alive. For the Orange, that early scoring run and a third-quarter defensive stop was just enough to halt the Black Knights.In the game’s early stages, everything came together for the Orange on both ends of the field. The Syracuse defense clamped down on the Army offense, not giving the Black Knights any free shots or easy assists. Army only took one shot in the first quarter, while Syracuse took nine.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I think the guys came out excited to play, as we all saw,’ Desko said. ‘Really up-tempo, we won faceoffs, created some unsettled situations. I thought we shot the ball well, especially in the first quarter.’Midfielder JoJo Marasco put Syracuse on the board early, scoring at 14:34 off an errant shot by attack Tim Desko. Marasco picked up Desko’s shot as it rolled past the goal, then ran around from behind the net and shot it while diving to the ground right outside the crease.Syracuse scored six more times in the quarter, while Army had only one goal. The Orange had a commanding 7-1 lead, and it seemed all but certain SU was cruising for an easy victory. But then Army slowed down Syracuse by switching to a zone defense, and offensive struggles set in for the Orange. And those struggles lasted two quarters.‘They started to have the ball a lot more than us,’ Marasco said. ‘We finally settled down, and we got that final goal.’SU scored only twice in the second period and failed to find the back of the net for the entire third. Syracuse’s offense became nearly nonexistent, rushing shots and turning the ball over.But while SU struggled to score in the third period, Army struggled nearly as much.The Black Knights took seven shots but got the ball past Orange goalie John Galloway only once. If the Syracuse defense didn’t stop Army in the third quarter, when SU’s offense never scored, another upset would’ve been nearly inevitable.‘Our defense knew that our offense took care of us in the first half,’ Galloway said. ‘For the third period, when the Army defense put a wall up, our defense knew that it was our turn.’The defense didn’t have much of a choice.Syracuse had to hold Army where it was. Especially considering Army put together a run in the fourth quarter that almost spelled disaster for Syracuse.Army scored about five minutes into the period, when Black Knight midfielder Pat Brennan pulled away from Orange midfielder Josh Amidon and ripped a shot on the run from eight yards out. The Black Knights followed that up with two more goals. All of a sudden, Syracuse’s comfortable lead was almost gone. Army was right back within striking distance.Tim Desko broke a near nine-minute scoreless drought for Syracuse when he fought around Army defender Matthew Marasco and scored from about five yards out. That put SU up 10-7, but Army responded three minutes later with two straight goals to pull within one.Jeremy Thompson scored with 1:06 left to put SU up 11-9, a goal Syracuse needed to cap the win. One that Syracuse came very close to not getting.‘Fortunately, we came alive at the end of the fourth,’ Desko said. ‘We were able to put a couple more goals in to seal the deal.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Published on February 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemanlast_img

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