March 30, 2009

BALTIMORE - No. 2 Syracuse (7-1) overcame a four-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 15 Loyola, 14-13, on Saturday, March 28 at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Orange outscored the Greyhounds, 6-1, in the final 8:06 to extend its winning streak to five games.

Senior Dan Hardy scored three goals in the rally, including the game-winner with 1:17 to go. Hardy, senior Pat Perritt and sophomore Stephen Keogh combined for 15 points in the victory as each finished with five points on the day. Hardy's point total matched his career high and he tied his personal-best with four goals Saturday. Keogh led the Orange with five goals, tying his career best, and Perritt netted a goal and a career-high four assists in the contest.

Down 12-8 after a goal by Cooper MacDonnell with 12:01 left to play, the Orange relied on Keogh and Hardy to get back in the game. Keogh opened the game-clinching run with consecutive goals at the 8:06 and 7:16 marks to pull SU within two, 12-10. Hardy scored the Orange's third straight goal with 6:36 to play to close the gap to one.

The Greyhounds (5-4) briefly regained the momentum on an unassisted goal by Jimmy Daly with 4:41 left to push the margin back to two, 13-11. But Syracuse scored three times in the span of 1:16 to pull ahead, 14-13, at 1:17 mark Hardy notched two of the Orange's last three goals to silence a Loyola crowd that was on him for most of the game.

Loyola still had a chance to tie it after an Orange turnover and a successful clear, but sophomore goalie John Galloway made a crucial save on Shane Koppens with 27 seconds to go to maintain the lead. Following an Orange timeout, Syracuse successfully cleared the ball with Perritt running out the clock to seal the victory.

Galloway finished with 11 saves in the contest, including five in the fourth quarter, to give the Syracuse offense a chance to rally. His point-blank save on Taylor Ebsary with 8:21 to go led to Keogh's goal that made the score 12-9 and ignited the Syracuse comeback.

Junior faceoff specialist Gavin Jenkinson and sophomore Josh Amidon also played crucial roles in the victory. Jenkinson went 10-for-11 at the faceoff X and he won eight of the nine draws he took in the fourth quarter, including the last seven of the game. Amidon tallied two assists during the team's four-quarter run, including one on Hardy's game-winner.

Syracuse needed the fourth-quarter scoring spree to pull out the win because the Greyhounds outscored the Orange, 6-1, in the third quarter to claim an 11-8 lead. Loyola also netted the first goal of the fourth period to push its margin to 12-8. MacDonnell and Koppens combined to score of five of Loyola's eight goals in the second half and four of the team's six scores in the third period.

MacDonnell finished with a career-best five goals to lead Loyola. The Greyhounds also got four points (3g, 1a) from Koppens and five points from Colin Finnerty (1g, 4a) as their trio of attackmen combined for 14 of the team's 19 points Saturday. Goalie Alex Peaty, making his first start of the season, stopped 10 shots in a losing effort.

Syracuse won a season-high 18 faceoffs, going 18-for-30 at the X in the contest. The Orange also held a 41-35 advantage in ground balls, including scooping up 15 of the 22 ground balls awarded in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Joel White and senior Matt Abbott both posted career highs in ground balls for the Orange. White collected 10 and Abbott had nine. Several of their ground ball wins came on faceoffs as they helped key the team's success in the faceoff circle.

In the first half, the Orange never trailed, but it could not extend its lead to more than two goals at any point. Syracuse led 3-1 late in the first quarter and 4-2 at the start of the second quarter when senior Kenny Nims whipped a behind-the-back pass to Keogh for an easy man-up goal. The Orange also led 7-5 at the half on a fast-break score by junior Chris Daniello before Loyola gained the momentum in the third quarter and built its four-goal advantage.

Syracuse will attempt to run its winning streak to six games on Saturday, April 4 when it plays Princeton in the Big City Classic at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The game is slated to start at 2:30 p.m. and is the centerpiece of a tripleheader presented by Inside Lacrosse.

Game Notes: Former Syracuse attackman/midfielder Brian Crockett was honored with a moment of silence prior to the game ... Crockett, who played for the Orange from 2003-06, was killed in a car accident early Friday morning ... Nims extended his point-scoring streak to 24 games with two goals and two assists Saturday ... Jenkinson's 10 faceoff wins were a career high ... Amidon's two assists tied his personal best ... The four-goal deficit was the largest deficit the Orange has overcome to win this season ... The victory improved the Orange's all-time record to 19-5 against Loyola ... Syracuse has won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Greyhounds.