May 23, 2009

Courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

FOXBORO, Mass. - Syracuse seniors Kenny Nims and Pat Perritt did not want their season to come to an end yet and the Orange rode the performance of its seniors to beat Duke, 17-7, in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. With the triumph, Syracuse (15-2) advanced to the NCAA Championship game for the 16th time and will play Cornell semifinal on Monday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Nims found the net four times and had an assist while Perritt tallied a career-high four goals and produced an assist. Junior Cody Jamieson had two goals and an assist, and freshman Tim Desko contributed two goals, both in man-up situations.

Syracuse won it's eighth straight game of the year while at the same time halting Duke's nine-game victory streak which was the longest active streak in the country entering Saturday.

Up 10-6 in the pivotal third period, Syracuse broke the game open with four unanswered goals. Senior Matt Abbott started the barrage by finding Nims on the goalmouth for a tally with 5:54 remaining in the quarter. Sophomore Stephen Keogh then scored his 47th of the campaign off a pass from senior Dan Hardy, at the 2:29 mark. Nims got his third of the contest and 30th of the season on a nifty pass from senior Greg Niewieroski with 59 ticks on the clock. Just 33 seconds later, Perritt got his fourth of the game and 17th of the year to put Syracuse ahead 14-6 after three periods.

Duke (15-4) answered in the fourth period, but the Orange closed out the scoring with consecutive goals from Nims, his 31st, and the two man-up goals from Desko.

Syracuse opened the game with the consecutive goals. Junior Chris Daniello came from behind the cage for his 20th of the year. Sophomore Joel White, a long-stick midfielder, dunked one into the Duke net for his fifth of the campaign and a 2-0 Orange advantage at the mid-way point of the first quarter.

Duke responded behind Zack Howell, who scored back-to-back goals, to even the score. With 35 seconds left in the first period, Perritt tallied his first goal with a drive that beat Duke netminder Rob Schroeder on the short side. SU extended its advantage when Nims ripped the net with one second left in the period. The goal increased his consecutive-game point-scoring streak to 33.

Duke's Max Quinzani pulled the Blue Devils back within one, 4-3, 11 seconds into the second quarter. Jamieson answered one minute later, on a feed from Nims. Perritt scored on a bounce shot from the left side, his 15th of the year, and after Duke scored, Perritt did it again on an assist from Hardy. Jamieson closed out the scoring in the second quarter one a one-on-one move that began behind the goal.

Moulton pushed the Orange advantage to 9-4 with his faceoff win and goal, just seven seconds into the third. Duke's Howell scored for the third time in the contest but Hardy earned his 24th goal on a Perritt assist for SU's 10th of the contest.

Sophomore John Galloway, who missed last Saturday's win against Maryland because of an illness, returned to the cage and made 11 saves. Junior Al Cavalieri played the final minutes in relief of Gallaway.

Syracuse had a strong showing at the faceoff X, winning 18-of-28 draws. Senior Jake Moulton, who opened the second half by winning the faceoff, racing to the cage and scoring, won 10-of-17. Junior Gavin Jenkinson claimed 7-of-9 draws.

The Orange improved its record in NCAA semifinal games to 16-10 and its all-time NCAA postseason record to 60-18. Syracuse, which won the 2008 NCAA Championship at Gillette Stadium, is now 3-0 on the field turf there.

Notes: Nims moved into a ninth-place tie on the school's season assist list (42) ... He tied Mike Powell, who had 42 assists in 2002 and 2004 ... SU is 31-4 since the start of the 2008 campaign ... Coach John Desko's NCAA Tournament record is 26-5. . .The Orange is 14-3 in the NCAA Tournament as a two seed. . .Syracuse now leads the all-time series with Duke, 5-1 ... Syracuse improved to 12-0 when scoring first, 12-0 when leading after the first quarter, 15-0 when ahead at the intermission and 12-0 when leading after three periods ... The 17 Syracuse goals were the most allowed by Duke this season. . .The Orange's 10-goal margin was the most in an NCAA semifinal since Johns Hopkins defeated Syracuse, 19-8, in 1999 ... Nine different players scored goals for Syracuse ... SU scored in double figures for the 15th time in 17 games this spring ... Syracuse is 14-1 when scoring 10-or-more goals and 11-0 when allowing fewer than 10 goals in 2009.