Syracuse wins battle of titans
Desko posts five goals to lead Orangemen past UVa
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Redshirt junior Tim Desko scored a career-best five goals to lead top-ranked Syracuse (3-0) to a 12-10 victory against co-No. 1 Virginia (4-1) at the Carrier Dome on Friday. Desko scored three of Syracuse’s five second-half goals to propel the Orange to its first regular-season win against the Cavaliers in the Dome since 2001.
A crowd of 14,340 was on hand to witness the triumph, the largest crowd in college lacrosse this season and the fourth-largest gathering to see a regular-season game in the Dome.
“I like playing in front of big crowds and it was a big game today,” Desko said. “I take whatever I can get and it worked out well today. We did a great job overall as a team.”
The loss was also UVa’s first true road loss since falling at Duke, 15-10, on April 11, 2009.
Shamel Bratton put UVa on the board first, 1-0, with 12:44 left in the opening period on an unassisted score from 10-yards out.
The Orange scored twice in 1:14 of play, taking a 2-1 advantage with scores from Desko and Steve Ianzito. Mark Cockerton tied the game, 2-2, via a Colin Briggs pass with 8:46 left in the first quarter.
Syracuse jumped out front by three goals, 5-2, when Jovan Miller capped a run with 2:55 left in the first quarter. JoJo Marasco’s goal extended Syracuse’s lead to 7-4 with 11:57 left in the second quarter, finishing the Orange’s scoring for the first half.
Virginia scored four unanswered goals to go into the intermission with an 8-7 lead. Steele Stanwick scored on a Rhamel Bratton pass to start things. Unassisted goals by Shamel Bratton and Colin Briggs tied the game at 7-7 with 4:26 left in the first half. A Chris Bocklet from Stanwick connection with 2:53 left in the second quarter capped the scoring for the half.
Syracuse scored early in the third quarter, taking the lead, while posting the 3-1 advantage over the frame, giving the Orange a 10-9 lead entering the final quarter. Goals by Stephen Keogh, Desko and Jeremy Thompson gave the Orange the lead. Thompson and Desko scored again in the fourth, preserving the Syracuse advantage. Shamel Bratton scored his fourth goal, eighth career in the Dome, but it wasn’t enough as UVa fell in the juggernaut of a game, 12-10.
Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman made 15 saves in the goal, including many point-blank stops, keeping UVa in the contest until the final horn. Stanwick added three points and Bocklet scored twice in the loss.
UVa and Syracuse were both ranked this week No. 1 by the USILA coaches poll, while the Cavaliers sat No. 2 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. It was only the second time in the history of the historic poll that two teams shared the top spot. The final regular season poll in 1985 saw Johns Hopkins and the Orange share the No. 1 spot. The USILA poll began in 1973.