Fourth Quarter Scoring Run Sparks Win over Rutgers
By Nicole Weaving
CitrusTV Men’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
Syracuse grabbed its first lead with under seven minutes to play in its matchup with Rutgers.
Griffin Cook’s defender was pinching in, leaving him with space to shoot. He signaled to Nate Solomon, who dished it to the freshman for his only assist of the game. Cook took three steps and fired it low past from Rutger’s goaltender, Max Edelmann.
The Orange didn’t let the Scarlet Knights find the back of the net after that, as No. 13 Syracuse (4-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) defeated No. 15 Rutgers (4-4, 0-0 Big Ten) 18-14 Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome.
This is Syracuse’s third consecutive game that has been decided in the fourth quarter. Against Virginia on March 2nd, the Cavaliers made a late run to tie the game. UVA eventually won it in overtime.
Last Saturday, the Orange offense outscored Johns Hopkins 6-1 in the final frame. But Head Coach John Desko noted that this week’s fourth quarter comeback was different.
“Last week, we really relied on our defense. [Peter] Dearth had a couple of goals, who is a short stick defender, and [Brett] Kennedy had a goal in that game. That sparked us in the fourth quarter, and our offense came alive as a result,” Desko said. “Today, it was our offense settling down, running the offense, getting good shots against the goaltender in the fourth quarter.”
Edelmann came into Saturday’s matchup ranked third in the nation with a 61% save percentage. He had nine saves in the first half.
He made four more saves in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter as Syracuse continued to shoot high.
“Some goalies will dip when you throw it at their stick, and it will go over the top. He doesn’t,” Desko said. “He came across his body really well to save them on the offside high.”
After Rutgers netted two more, extending their lead 13-10, Syracuse attackers knew they needed to start switching up their shots.
Jamie Trimboli dodged down the right alley and put a bounce shot past Edelmann. Stephen Rehfuss scored in nearly the same place less than a minute later.
“They have good shooters and they know how to place the ball. When they start shooting low and away, especially through screens, it is tough for me to see the ball,” Edelmann said. “I wish I could have had a couple more today.”
Edelmann finished the game with a career-high 19 saves as Syracuse took 57 shots in the contest.
The Orange has thrived in the fourth quarter for the last two weeks. Trimboli attributes the success to their conditioning.
“We’re bigger, faster, and stronger than a lot of teams, so in the fourth quarter, when everyone else is tired, we’re pretty set,” Trimboli said. “So we move the ball well, and it doesn’t really matter who’s getting the looks as long as their putting them away.”
Syracuse put in a full team effort offensively; seven different players scored. Trimboli netted a career-high four goals while Cook had his first multi-goal game of his career.
The Orange will have a full week’s rest before Syracuse welcomes No. 2 Duke to the Dome.
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