While the Syracuse Men’s Basketball team couldn't overcome Duke last night in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament, today brought more joy for Orange fans. The No. 15 Syracuse Orange (4-3, 2-0) were able to overcome the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils (8-2, 0-1) in a 15-14 back-and-forth nail biter, snapping the Devils’ four game winning streak.
Both teams refused to give up throughout the entire 60 minutes, with Syracuse sophomore midfielder Jamie Trimbioli scoring the game-winning goal with just 1:14 on the clock in the fourth quarter. This was a must win game for the Orange, giving them another hard fought win before they return home next Saturday to take on No. 4 Notre Dame.
So far in the month of March, the Orange are 1-2, beating No. 5 Virginia earlier this month, and then falling to No. 15 Johns Hopkins and No. 16 Rutgers in back-to-back games. Todays win over Duke gives Syracuse their second ACC win, putting them at the top of the most current ACC rankings, as well as with a record above .500 again.
While Duke won the opening face-off, Syracuse was quick to respond with the first goal of the game from sophomore midfielder Peter Dearth with less than 11:00 remaining in the first, his first of the season. Duke won all four face-offs in the first quarter, but five Blue Devil turnovers allowed the Orange to stay on top at the end of the first up 4-3.
With a penalty called early in the second on junior defender Tyson Bomberry for an illegal body check, Duke was able to capitalize while they had an extra man on the field and tied the game 4-4 with 13:40 left in the half. Both teams were able to score three more goals, heading into halftime tied 7-7.
The Orange came out hot in the third quarter, with a goal from freshman midfielder Brendan Curry off an assist from redshirt sophomore attack Stephen Rehfuss. Back-to-back penalties on Duke gave Syracuse a two-man advantage on the field, as Bomberry scored again just minutes later with an assist from Rehfuss, putting the Orange up 9-7 early in the third.
The Blue Devils continued to chip away at the lead as the Orange continued to score, and with just 2:37 left in the third quarter the game was all tied up at 11-11. For the first time the entire game, Syracuse trailed Duke 12-11 when the Orange were down two men for the final seconds of the third.
While Syracuse scored with 11:09 left in the fourth quarter, the officials ruled it not a goal. The Orange remained scoreless for almost 15 minutes before Bomberry scored from close range with an assist from junior attack Nate Solomon, making it 13-13 with 4:04 left in the game. Bomberry scored his fourth goal of the game, which was then answered with another Duke goal bringing the score to 14-14 with 2:11 to go.
With just 1:14 left in the game, Trimboli was able to scoop up a rebound off a blocked shot and sink the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the game and tenth of the season. The Orange were able to hold on for the remaining seconds of the game and secure their second ACC victory of the season over another highly ranked opponent.
Syracuse returns home to the Dome next Saturday when they take on No. 4 Notre Dame at 5:00 PM.