first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 24, 2018 at 3:58 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] DURHAM, N.C. — As soon as Syracuse’s Jamie Trimboli saw the ball bounce in front of Duke’s cage, he knew he had to score. With Syracuse and Duke tied at 14, Nate Solomon curled around the right side of the cage looking for a cutting Tucker Dordevic, but the two couldn’t complete the connection as the ball flew high off Dordevic’s stick before bouncing on the ground.Coming in from the right side, Trimboli snuck by his defender, Kevin McDonough. In one rapid motion, Trimboli snatched the ball, pulled back and shot high from point-blank range. As Duke goalie Danny Fowler dove low, Trimboli finished high for the eventual game-winner with 1:14 left before teammate Brendan Curry jumped into his arms.“It fell right in my lap,” Trimboli said. “I saw I was one-on-one with the goalie. This is it. You have to shoot.”For the second consecutive year, Trimboli played hero ball against Duke. Last year it came as a relatively unknown freshman in the Carrier Dome. This year, it comes with Trimboli as the focal point of the offense. But while Trimboli will be remembered for the game-winning shot, it was a balanced team effort in unlikely places that led No. 15 Syracuse (4-3, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) to its biggest win of the season, defeating No. 3 Duke (8-2, 0-1), 15-14, Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.“We just competed for 60 minutes today,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “(This is) obviously a big win for us.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textComing off two-straight losses in which the Orange was outscored 32-17, SU entered Saturday’s road matchup as clear underdogs to the third-ranked Blue Devils. Duke ranked second in the country in scoring defense and third in scoring offense. If SU was to beat Duke, it would likely have to win the faceoff battle. But after the first five faceoffs of the game, that outcome seemed unlikely.Duke controlled the first five possessions, but when the Blue Devils scored on that fifth possession, they trailed 3-2. After being bumped from the first midfield line against Rutgers, Peter Dearth opened the scoring for the Orange, crow-hopping a bouncer past Fowler for his first goal of the season. And coming into this matchup, junior Pat Carlin had just one point the entire season. Within the first ten minutes, he recorded an assist to give SU a 3-1 lead.“We wanted to play loose,” Desko said. “The last couple games we played a bit tentative and today guys just came out and played.”Meanwhile, while Danny Varello has played much better at the faceoff X of late, the sophomore struggled mightily in this contest, finishing 2-for-12 and losing his first five.After the fourth, Varello ran back to the sidelines, hitting his stick into the ground before finding a new one to try to make a fix in his results. He lost his next faceoff before being replaced by Seth DeLisle. To that point this season, DeLisle had won just 33 percent of his faceoffs this season, 11-of-33, but following his substitution, he rattled off three-straight wins and finished 4-of-8 to help SU.At one point, Desko even turned to freshman Jakob Phaup to battle at the faceoff X. Phaup had not played yet this season.Faceoffs weren’t the only struggle Syracuse had to deal with. Within 35 seconds of surrendering a man-down goal to Duke at 4-4, Syracuse’s Tyson Bomberry drew a two-minute, non-releasable illegal check penalty.SU fought through another man-down set, with Dom Madonna making a save, and the defense forcing a Duke turnover before Brendan Curry rifled in a goal on the other end and celebrated with a fist pump and a head nod.At the end of the first half, SU and Duke were tied at 7, despite the Orange being outshot by nine, losing nine more ground balls and winning just 26.7 percent of its first-half faceoffs. Duke gives up just 7.1 goals per game, and Syracuse scored seven in the first half with goals from seven different players. Additionally, Madonna made seven saves in the first half and the SU defense held the nation’s top scorer, Justin Guterding, to just one assist.And the Orange continued to thrive at the beginning of the third quarter, opening the second half on a 3-0 run to take a 10-7 lead.“We hit the open guys and hit the shots that we had to,” Trimboli said.But then SU went cold. After being ahead 11-9, SU couldn’t find the back of the net, while Duke poured in four straight goals and continued to dominate the faceoff X. The Blue Devils who were missing shots and turning the ball over disappeared, and the powerhouse team that Duke has been all year found its rhythm.“We took some really early shots in our offensive possession,” Desko said. “We needed to let guys just touch it once and be a little bit more patient.”That’s what Desko told his team heading into the fourth quarter, and his guys listened.After Duke extended the lead to 13-11, SU went on a scoring spree. The Orange outscored Duke 4-1 in the final 4:49 of the game. And while those goals were scored by the team’s top playmakers in Solomon, Bomberry and Trimboli, those opportunities may not have happened if it wasn’t for Nick Martin winning at the faceoff X.Martin had taken just four faceoffs all year, winning three, and similarly to how Varello led SU in a comeback last year against Duke by winning possessions, Martin did the same. The redshirt sophomore won all five faceoffs he competed in at the end of the game, not only helping to lead SU back offensively but to prevent Duke’s offense from making a late-game run.“He grinds his butt off all week in practice regardless of if he gets game reps or not,” Trimboli said. “Credit to him for that because when he got his number called he came out and executed.”While players like Trimboli and Bomberry stood in the spotlight for their late-game goal-scoring, they wouldn’t have been in position to make that comeback if it wasn’t for the unexpected production from players like Dearth, Carlin and Martin. Trimboli was in that position last year. Now he defeated Duke for a second year because others in that same position stepped up. Commentslast_img

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