Another huge fourth quarter comeback powers men’s LAX over Rutgers

Fourth quarter powers men's LAX over Rutgers

Syracuse closed the game on an 8-1 run.
Published: March 16, 2019
Syracuse's Nate Solomon celebrates in an April 3, 2018 game against Hobart.
Senior attack Nate Solomon, shown here April 3, 2018, against Hobart, scored four goals Saturday against Rutgers.

In its highest scoring game of its season, No. 13 Syracuse fought back from behind for the second straight week to take down No. 16 Rutgers 18-14 in the Carrier Dome.

The Scarlet Knights (4-4, 0-0 B1G) either held or shared the lead for the first 53 minutes of the game. Despite being down, the Orange (4-2, 0-1 ACC) had the advantage in nearly every statistical category, including posting a season-high 57 shots. Those shots started to find the back of the net in the fourth quarter as SU outscored Rutgers 8-3 in the final period.

Syracuse was able to get off so many shots because of its play at the face-off mark. Both Danny Varello and Jakob Phaup had double digit face-off wins while Rutgers only won nine in 36 total attempts. Syracuse head coach John Desko wanted to use both the junior and the sophomore in different situations as they both bring something special to the table.

“We’ll do what we have to do,” Desko said. “[Phaup and Varello] are both good in their own way, and we feel we have really good wings off the face-off. We’ll read what they’re doing, and if one of our guys has a better face-off move against one of theirs, we’ll adjust.”

As Desko also said, Rutgers came into the Dome ready to play. They opened up the game on a 4-0 run despite losing the first four face-offs. The Orange first scored with 6:42 to go in the first quarter as Jamie Trimboli beat the seemingly impenetrable Max Edelmann. Brendan Curry and Nate Solomon would follow Trimboli to make it a one-goal game, but Adam Charalambides scored two of his three first quarter goals in the last 90 seconds to give Rutgers a two-goal advantage at the break.

Charalambides carried the momentum from closing out the first quarter into the second. The redshirt-sophomore had a season-high six goals, five of them being in the first half, and terrorizing the Syracuse defense early on.

With Charalambides leading the offense, it was Edelmann carrying Rutgers defensively. Syracuse took 25 shots in the first half, and Edelmann made nine saves to hold the Orange to just seven goals. He finished the game with a career-high 19 saves and Desko had no answer for how to get by him.

“I remember looking up at the scoreboard and seeing we have 50 shots, and they’re winning the game,” Desko said. “I remember thinking to myself saying, ‘something’s going on here.’”

SU trailed 9-7 going into the locker room and cut its deficit to 11-10 after the third quarter. This team came back in last week’s 14-10 win over Johns Hopkins by scoring six goals in the final period. The Orange outdid themselves on Saturday.

“In the fourth quarter, everyone was rolling and everyone had each other’s back,” freshman attack Griffin Cook said. “I felt pretty good out there.”

Syracuse surrendered two goals right off the bat, but Trimboli completed his first hat-trick of the season to light up the Carrier Dome crowd of nearly 3,000. Stephen Rehfuss got on the scoreboard to make it a one-goal game, then David Lipka did the same to tie things up at 13.

After going silent for the majority of the second half, Charalambides netted his sixth goal to give Rutgers the lead once more. Less than 40 seconds later, Trimboli scored again for the tie. Then it was Cook who took over. He scored his third goal of the season to give the Orange its first lead of the game with 6:48 left on the clock. After Lipka scored another, Cook hit the dagger, jumping over crease and beating Edelmann.

Cook also scored the final goal in last week’s victory over Hopkins. Desko had the confidence to play him down the stretch and knows the freshman could get it done.

“It’s what he’s been doing in practice all year long, and we knew it’s a matter of time for him to get comfortable in game situations,” Desko said. “He did what we’ve seen in practice every day, he made some very good moves and obviously the goals were big.”

Cook said he lost some confidence in the first half.

“In the first half, I got stuffed in the crease and that took a little bit of confidence away,” Cook said. “I’d just say my teammates are putting me in a good position at the end of the game where I can just do my job and help the team win.”

Syracuse concludes its seven-game home stand on March 24 against No. 2 Duke. The SU women’s basketball team will potentially host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in the Carrier Dome next weekend, so the men’s lacrosse team might play in a different location in the Syracuse area.

Avatar for Justin Paura

is a sports writer for The NewsHouse, as well as a WAER and WJPZ radio personality and a host for CitrusTV’s “Unpeeled.”