Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from No. 10 Syracuse’s 14-13 win over No. 9 Virginia
Ally Moreo | Photo Editor
A week after falling to Army on a last-second goal, Syracuse struggled to get anything going in the first half against Virginia. A 4-0 run from Virginia including three goals from Michael Kraus pulled the Cavaliers away in the second quarter. The Orange struck back in the second half, adding a 6-1 run to pull itself close. From there, the two teams fought back and forth before Sergio Salcido put the game away with 15.1 seconds left.
Here are three quick takeaways from No. 10 Syracuse’s (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) 14-13 win over No. 9 Virginia (4-2, 0-1).
Syracuse’s first-half woes, second-half breakout continues
For the third straight week, Syracuse was unable to enter halftime with a lead. The team trailed against then-No. 12 Albany by three before fighting back and narrowly escaping with a game-winning goal from Nick Mariano. The following week, Army entered the half up two. Syracuse made another late comeback but that time, Army added a last-second goal to win. Against Virginia, the first-half woes continued.
Matt Lane scored late in the first quarter to tie the game at four apiece. But, in the second quarter, SU failed to create any offensive production. The team went scoreless for all 15 minutes while Virginia rode a 4-0 run into the half including three straight goals from Kraus.
In the second half, Syracuse rode a 6-1 run to tie the game at 11 with just 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. From there, the two teams bounced back and forth.
Ten seconds after an SU goal tied the game in the fourth quarter, UVA struck back to take the lead. That was met with a Ryan Simmons up-and-under shot from long distance to tie the game back up shortly after. Three minutes later, Dox Aitken scored his third of the game to put Virginia back on top. Body blows were exchanged throughout the rest of the fourth quarter before Salcido delivered the knockout.
Syracuse had been able to battle back from a first-half struggles in the two games prior. But, in the second half, took over and kept each game close. The storyline continued against Virginia.
Matt Lane, Nate Solomon bounce back after recent struggles
After a four-goal performance against Siena, Nate Solomon had only one assist over the next two games. Matt Lane tallied a goal and assist over Syracuse’s first three games. Both starters had been falling short of expectations. That changed in SU’s first conference game of the season.
For the first time all season, Lane had more than one point in a game. All season long, he had been hesitant and struggled to create enough room for a shot. But, he finally found his groove and fired off shot after shot. Lane finished with three goals and two assists.
As for Solomon, the sophomore attack finally showed the potential seen in the season opener. After struggling in back-to-back games, his constant cuts led to many open opportunities. This time, he took advantage of them, adding three goals and two assists as well in the win.
Syracuse’s best players Nick Mariano and Jordan Evans can only do so much. With the defense focusing on the two attackmen, others had to step up for Syracuse. Against Virginia, that was Lane and Solomon.
Ben Williams sets Syracuse’s all-time record for groundballs
Late in the third quarter, Ben Williams lined up at the X, much like he has the previous four years at Syracuse. The always reliable faceoff specialist for the Orange put his head down and, as the referee blew his whistle, won the faceoff and came up with the groundball.
For the 284th time in his career, Williams came up with the groundball, passing Joel White and setting the Syracuse all-time record.
Williams missed last week’s game against Army with an undisclosed injury, and his absence at the X helped Army create more opportunities on offense and eventually, a 14-13 win.
Having the senior back at the X helped keep Syracuse close against its division rival Virginia. Though he lost the battle at the X, the game could’ve easily gotten out of hand without him taking faceoffs. But he gave Syracuse enough opportunities to put the game away. And the team did.
Published on March 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm