Updated: Saturday, 25 Apr 2009, 7:44 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 25 Apr 2009, 7:44 PM EDT
AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - Despite holding a 2-1 lead only 5:23 into the first quarter, the Syracuse men's lacrosse team took over from there, scoring nine of the final 10 goals to hand #16/15 UMass a 10-3 nonconference defeat in front of a program record 13,722 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Saturday. Jim Connolly scored two goals while Ryan Marcus added the other. The Orange (11-2) defense stole the show, holding the Minutemen scoreless for a span of 38:20 after Marcus' goal. Goaltender Doc Schneider was sensational once again with 17 saves, 12 coming in the first half to keep the Minutemen (8-5, 5-1 ECAC) within 4-2. UMass now looks ahead to a huge showdown next Saturday at Rutgers. A win would earn the team its first ECAC Title since 2005 and conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The crowd was also the 24th biggest for an NCAA regular season college lacrosse game and 18th largest in an on-campus facility. UMass' former record of 12,143 was set on May, 1989, also against Syracuse.
The Minutemen used a fast start for the early advantage as Connolly and Marcus scored within the game's first six minutes. After Connolly gave UMass a 1-0 lead at 11:39, Syracuse's Stephen Keogh answered only eight seconds later on a fast break off the faceoff win.
Marcus added his tally with a short side shot on a delayed penalty. Patrick Perritt tied the score at two at 7:39, beginning a run of seven unanswered tallies.
Schneider impressed with seven second quarter saves to keep the Minutemen within shouting distance. The lone tally by either side came from Kenny Nims.
Syracuse used three goals within 5:18 of the second half to open up a 7-2 lead. Josh Amidon made it 8-2, but Connolly answered at the 1:18 mark with his second of the game off a rebound attempt to end the 38:20 scoreless drought.
Two Stephen Keogh goals, one a highlight-reel between the legs tally, marked all the fourth quarter scoring for the 10-3 final.
Final shots were 37-30 in favor of Syracuse. Orange goalie John Galloway matched Schneider save for save with 14 stops of his own. Syracuse was 19-for-25 on clears while UMass was 18-for-20 and faceoff wins were 9-8 in favor of the Minutemen.
The Minutemen travels to Rutgers next Saturday for a huge ECAC
game. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. A win would give UMass the ECAC
Championship while a loss would give Loyola the conference title.
The championship would be UMass' first since 2005 and the team's
first NCAA Tournament berth since its magical run in 2006.