FOXBORO, Mass. -- Syracuse is back in the NCAA men's lacrosse
The defending champion Orange (15-2) stopped
third-seeded Duke 17-7 in a Division I semifinal Saturday at
Gillette Stadium and will play in Monday's final against Cornell (1 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Syracuse, seeded second, is pursuing its 11th national title.
Cornell, the fifth seed, stunned top-seeded Virginia 15-6 in the other semifinal. The Big Red (13-3) won their first NCAA Division I title in 1971 and followed it with titles in 1976 and 1977. But they have not been to a national championship game since 1988.
And in that game, Cornell's opponent was Syracuse, which won 13-8.
"I hope we can prepare ourselves for that next juggernaut in
Syracuse," Cornell coach Jeff Tambroni said.
Kenny Nims and Patrick Perritt each had four goals for Syracuse
on Saturday. Cody Jamieson added two goals, giving him six for the
tournament, and freshman Tim Desko also had two. Nine players
scored for Syracuse.
"I'm very happy with how we played today," said Syracuse coach John
Desko, who is Tim's father. "We got some saves from our goaltender, especially
early, so that was a very good defensive effort. And offensively we
were able to score in settled and unsettled situations."
Max Quinzani and Zach Howell had three goals apiece for the Blue
Devils (15-4), who have never won an NCAA title.
This was the fifth time Syracuse has beaten Duke in six
Chris Daniello and Joel White scored unassisted to make it 2-0
for Syracuse in the first quarter. Duke responded with two goals
from Howell, both on passes from Ned Crotty, to tie it.
But Perritt sent a shot by Duke goalie Rob Schroeder on the short side and Nims
beat Schroeder unassisted with a second left in the first quarter
to make it 4-2.
Syracuse goalie John Galloway, who missed the quarterfinal win
over Maryland because of illness, made big saves in the second
quarter. Perritt scored twice as Syracuse extended its lead to 8-4
at the half.
"Coach said during the week just try to place the ball, shoot
it overhand and put it to the far corners and that's what I tried
to do and it worked," Perritt said.
Jake Moulton scored his second goal of the season seven seconds
into the third quarter with a quick rush after the faceoff.
Howell's third goal brought Duke within 9-5, but Perritt fired a
cross-field pass to Hardy, who made it 10-5.
"They made some tremendous looks and plays," Duke coach John
Danowski said. "If we left someone open, the ball was in his stick
and out quickly."
Virginia (15-3) had beaten Cornell 14-10 in March, but the Big Red, led
by Rob Pannell's three goals and three assists, got the upper hand Saturday.
Ryan Hurley had three goals and an assist, and Chris Finn added three goals for Cornell, which jumped on the Cavaliers early.
Finn scored first; Jonathan Thompson scooped up a loose
ball in front of the goal and fired it past Virginia goalie Adam
Ghitelman; and Hurley's 42nd goal of the season with a
man advantage made it 3-0 just five minutes into the game.
"We are thrilled and proud of the effort of our guys,"
Tambroni said. "They really dug in during a game where we knew we
wouldn't have a lot of believers out there. We knew we needed to
believe first and play hard second."
Danny Glading opened the scoring for Virginia with an unassisted
goal but Pannell's first goal made it 4-1 The Big Red stretched it
to 6-1 when Rocco Romero scored the first of his two goals and then
found Hurley with a pass on the doorstep of the goal.
In a stretch spanning the first and second quarters, Cornell
held the Cavaliers, who averaged more than 13 goals a game this
year, scoreless for 17 minutes.
"Cornell did a really good job on the 50-50 ground balls after
faceoffs so we didn't see the ball very often on offense because
they were being so patient with their offense," Glading said.
Shamel Bratton broke the drought for Virginia in the second
quarter, but Pannell's second goal of the game and Finn's second
from Pannell boosted the Cornell lead to an 8-2 lead at the half.
Steele Stanwick scored twice for Virginia in the third quarter,
but the Big Red extended the lead to 11-4 after
"They did what we thought they were going to do but they did it
better than they had been doing it," Virginia midfielder Mike