Men’s LAX uses fourth quarter surge to overtake Johns Hopkins
Men's LAX overtakes Johns Hopkins
Two of the most storied programs in all of college lacrosse collided in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, as the No. 15 Syracuse Orange defeated the No. 17 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, 14-10, in front of nearly 4,000 fans.
Together, the two schools have won a total of 21 NCAA national championships, 11 of which have been earned by the ‘Cuse. Among those cheering for the Orange were members of the 1969 and 2009 lacrosse teams, the latter of which won the program’s most recent national championship.
Even with a large, enthusiastic crowd on hand, Syracuse (3-2, 0-1) fell behind the visitors early. Johns Hopkins (2-3, 0-1) scored on its first possession, only 31 seconds into the game. Though less than two minutes later midfielder Peter Dearth got the Orange on the board with the team’s first goal, Syracuse would endure a scoring drought for the next 11 minutes. In that time, the Blue Jays scored four straight times.
Before the first period had ended, those fans clad in powder blue relegated to the bleachers behind the Johns Hopkins bench were the loudest portion of the crowd in the entire stadium. Even after Syracuse’s Brendan Curry ended the Blue Jays’ run with a goal at the 1:39 mark of the quarter, the home crowd seemed somewhat hesitant to get too excited. It seemed like even if the Orange could get a shot on net, the Blue Jays goaltender Ryan Darby would be there to eat it up, leading to a cleared ball.
However, a spectacular over-the-shoulder goal by Bradley Voigt with only five seconds remaining in the first period gave Syracuse fans a reason to unabashedly cheer their team on.
It appeared this late goal might create some momentum for the Orange that would help them to score more consistently against the Johns Hopkins defense, but they only outscored their opponents by one goal in the second quarter. Twice, the Orange were able to tie the game, but they just could not take the lead.
This storyline continued into the third quarter as Jacob Buttermore finally scored the first goal of the period for either team with only 4:59 remaining. Again, the Orange had tied the game up, but an unforced error in front of their own net led to a Blue Jays goal at the 2:40 mark, putting the score at 9-8 in favor of Johns Hopkins. Despite sticking with the Blue Jays for the majority of the game, the Orange had still not seen the lead at this point, which was a bit worrisome to both the players and fans.
If the game was disconcerting to Syracuse fans through three quarters, though, the fourth period was a joy to watch. With 11:35 left in the game, the Orange started their fourth quarter scoring and could not be stopped. In just over three minutes, Syracuse had scored four goals, taking the lead 12-9 with only 8:28 remaining.
“I think we settled down,” said Syracuse head coach John Desko, regarding the team’s comeback.
With each of these goals, the Syracuse crowd grew louder and louder, more and more fans jumped to their feet and howled with delight as their favorite team began to pull away from a fellow legendary opponent.
Syracuse fans must have been fearful of tearing their eyes away from the field for any reason, afraid they might miss yet another goal from this suddenly frenetic Orange offense.
At this point, the Dome’s energy had shifted wildly in favor of the Orange. Johns Hopkins did score again and still had more than eight minutes to retake the lead, but it was too late.
Syracuse had found its groove, its confidence, even if it took until the final quarter of the game
Nine Syracuse players finished with goals: Buttermore finished with a hat trick, while Voigt, Jamie Trimboli and Dearth came away with two goals apiece.