No. 6 Virginia Edges No. 2 Syracuse, 12-11, In Men's Lacrosse
March 5, 2005
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – First-year starting goaltender Kip Turner had 18saves, while junior midfielder Matt Poskay and senior attackman JohnChristmas combined for seven goals as the No. 6-ranked Virginia Cavaliermen’s lacrosse team (3-0) defeated defending national champion Syracuse,12-11, at the Carrier Dome. The loss snapped a 10-game home winningstreak for the Orange, who last lost at home to Rutgers, also by a scoreof 12-11, back on April 12, 2003. It was only the 15th loss in 161games all-time for the SU lacrosse program at the Carrier Dome since1981.
In a back-and-forth game that has become characteristic of the Syracuseversus Virginia series, the Cavs got off to a 2-0 start behindfirst-quarter goals by Poskay and junior attackman Matt Ward. TheOrange tied it up 2-2 after an unassisted goal by midfielder JarettPark (Otisco, N.Y.) and a man-up tally by junior middie Greg Rommel(Syracuse, N.Y.) with 8:41 remaining in the first quarter.
Rommel gave SU its first lead of the game, 3-2, at 8:32 of the secondperiod, but Virginia was quick to answer wtih a Brendan Gill goal at8:03, and an unassisted Christmas score at the 5:31 mark.
Syracuse (1-1) made the most of its second extra-man opportunity of thegame when junior attackman Brian Crockett (Yorktown, N.Y.) found fellowattackman Brett Bucktooth (Onondaga Nation, N.Y.) to tie the game at 4-4with 1:59 remaining in the second quarter. UVA junior midfielder KyleDixon beat SU goaltender Jay Pfeifer (Towson, Md.) with a shot to theupper right corner with 1:19 remaining on the clock and the goal gaveDixon’s team a 5-4 advantage going into halftime.
In the second half, the Cavs led by as many as three goals at threedifferent times, but Syracuse never let it go beyond that. UVA built a7-4 lead with the first two goals of the third quarter, one by JaredLittle and the other by Poskay. Bucktooth fired a long, outside shotpast Turner to pull the Orange to within 7-5, but Poskay registered histhird goal of the afternoon to give the Cavs an 8-5 edge with 9:30remaining in the third.
Bucktooth responded with his third goal of the game for Syracuse just 12seconds later, but Christmas finished off a pass from Dixon at the 4:19mark, which once again gave the Cavaliers a three-goal lead, 9-6.
That is when Syracuse showed some fight. The Orange tallied the game’snext four goals during the end of the third quarter and early into thefourth, which gave the home team a 10-9 lead, its first time on topsince the start of the second quarter.
Crockett, who had a career-high six goals in the Virginia game last yearand is a returning All-America for Syracuse, recorded back-to-back goalsto pull his team to within 9-8 at the end of three quarters of play.Senior captain Jake Plunket (Cortland, N.Y.) stepped up with a big,unassisted goal just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter, which tied thecontest at 9-9. He dodged his way to the goal and beat Turner with alow shot to the far corner. Sophomore middie Steven Brooks(Libertyville, Ill.) capped off SU’s 4-0 mini-run with a blast from uptop with 11:55 left to play.
UVA never got rattled. Poskay scored his game-high fourth goal of thegame off an assist from Drew Thompson at the 10:19 mark. That wasfollowed by an unassisted goal by Ward at 9:24 and a highlight-reelscore by Christmas, who jammed a shot between what looked likeabsolutely zero space between Pfeifer and the near goal post.Christmas’ third goal gave Virginia a 12-10 lead and ended up being thegame-winner.
Crockett ripped off his own dazzler with 1:17 remaining in the game topull the Orange to within 12-11. SU took a timeout with 1:01 left andPark’s game-tying attempt was blocked by a UVA defender with 36 secondsremaining.
Pfeifer finished with nine saves for Syracuse. The senior goalie isnow three saves away from the 600th of his career. He will attempt toreach that milestone in the Orange’s next game against No. 8-rankedGeorgetown. Syracuse and Georgetown will meet in The First 4, an elitelacrosse invitational being held at The Home Depot Center in Carson,Calif. on March 12. Notre Dame and North Carolina will play in thefirst game of the NCAA Division I doubleheader, while the Orange andHoyas square off in the second match at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Bothgames will be televised LIVE by CSTV: College Sports Television. me and North Carolina will play in thefirst game of the NCAA Division I doubleheader, while the Orange andHoyas square off in the second match at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Bothgames will be televised LIVE by CSTV: College Sports Television.