Triple overtime heroics propels Men’s Lacrosse over Army
MLAX defeats Army in 3OT
Thirty-nine seconds into the third overtime of a back-and-forth game, Ryan Simmons scored the game-winning goal to cap a comeback win in a wild game for No. 16 Syracuse Orange (2-1) against No. 9 Army West Point Black Knights (3-1) at the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon.
Syracuse opened the scoring exactly six minutes into the game. Nate Solomon potted his fourth goal of the season and 40th of his career to give the Orange an early 1-0 lead. Solomon now has goal in six-straight games, dating back to last season.
Army tied the game 92 seconds later for the only other goal of the quarter.
The second quarter started with a bang, and the floodgates opened soon after. Nate Jones scored his ninth of the season and 72nd of his career off the far post to put Army up 2-1 just fifteen seconds in. Army would add four more before the end of the half, including two by Conor Glancy to lead the Orange 6-1 after two quarters.
Heading into the second half against Army, the Orange had scored just four goals in the last six quarters combined.
The second half saw a completely different Syracuse team.
“We challenged some of the guys offensively. I think our guys played very good defense. We were dodging, but we didn’t get a lot of dodges to get good shots off. We took some bad shots when we did get a few opportunities,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said after the game.
Desko also added he wanted the team to challenge Army offensively and make the Black Knights’ defenders slide more than in the first half.
Conor Glancy scored his hat-trick goal early in the third quarter, but the Orange dominated most of the quarter. Capped off by a goal by David Lipka with nine seconds left, Syracuse trailed 8-7 heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.
Army scored early in the fourth to pull ahead by two goals, but Syracuse responded with three of its own, including Nate Solomon’s second of the game with 5:57 remaining in regulation. Solomon’s fifth goal of the season and 41st of his career sent the crowd of nearly 3,955 into a frenzy, the loudest the Carrier Dome was up to that point.
Army would tie the game at 10-all 46 seconds later off a shot by Connor DeWitt. Regulation would end without another goal.
The game needed overtime to determine a winner, and it needed three to do so.
Syracuse only won 9-of-26 total faceoffs in the game, but won all three overtime draws to determine who would get the ball first.
“Especially coming off the Albany game, we talked about not having a lot of possessions,” Desko said after the game. “In the third quarter against Albany, we had the ball for 1:34 out of fifteen minutes. We can’t do that. We worked on being a little bit more patient today…I think we did a much better job throughout the game.”
Each overtime saw great saves from both goaltenders, keeping everybody on the edge of their seats as they held their breaths before every shot on goal.
Early in the third overtime, Syracuse goaltender Dom Madonna had the ball in his stick and threw a laser past midfield to Ryan Simmons, who cut down the middle of the Army zone and scored the winning goal to complete the comeback and secure a victory.
“Army SU, another one goal game, and unfortunate for us, we came out on the wrong end this time,” Army head coach Joe Alberici said after the loss. “I really felt as it progressed through overtime, that it was going to be that broken play that would decide it. Both defenses weren’t giving up much. It was a great play by [Madonna], heads up play by Simmons, a back-door cut, and [Syracuse] won it on a great play,” Alberici added.
Syracuse will head to Virginia to play the No. 6 Cavaliers (4-0) next Sunday. The tilt at Charlottesville starts at 3:00 p.m.