Syracuse Takes Down UNC 13-12 in Overtime
By Jonah Karp
Men’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
Syracuse, N.Y.—After falling behind by three goals late in the game, Brendan Bomberry netted the game winning goal in overtime to catapult No. 6 Syracuse (7-4, 4-0 ACC) to a 13-12 victory over North Carolina (6-7, 0-3 ACC).
“In the second half, I don’t think there was a ton of defense going on out there, on either team,” SU head coach John Desko explained after the victory. “It seemed like both teams were scoring fairly easily at times.”
It was a defensive chess match early on. Pat Carlin found an angle and ripped one through from the right doorstep to put Syracuse up 1-0. But with just over four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Timmy Kelly netted his 19th goal of the year for UNC to knot the game at one apiece.
But it didn’t take long for the Orange to hit its stride in the second quarter. Nate Solomon scored less than a minute in, and Matt Lane followed to give SU a 3-1 advantage. But every action had an equal and opposite reaction.
Chris Cloutier found the back of the net to cut the lead to 3-2. As the fans began chanting the chorus of “Tar Heels,” William Perry tied the game at three midway through the second quarter.
Then Matt Lane tacked on his second of the game to put Syracuse back in front 4-3. The redshirt senior had doubled his season’s total in goals before halftime.
The SU defense held the Tar Heels scoreless for nearly six minutes. But with nine seconds remaining before the break, Matt Gavin sent in the equalizer to send both teams to the locker room tied at four.
“I thought, in the first half, our offense was sloppy,” said Desko. “I thought we took some bad shots. I didn’t think we had very good possessions.”
Following the break, North Carolina had the hot hand. Perry and Steven Schneider each scored to put UNC up 6-4. But the pace of play turned rapid. Syracuse came back to tie it at six after consecutive goals from Bomberry and Lipka.
North Carolina had a quick response with a 3-1 scoring run to end the third quarter. UNC had a 9-7 advantage entering the final period. Then Solomon scored twice early in the fourth to tie the game at nine.
But the Tar Heels began to pull away. Goals by Jeff Rowlett, Gavin and Alex Trippi put North Carolina up 12-9 with less than five minutes remaining.
Syracuse then went on its own 3-0 run. A goal by Stephen Rehfuss and two by Brendan Curry sent the contest to overtime. With just over three minutes remaining in the extra period. Curry found Bomberry for the game-winner.
“At this point of the season, I try not to think of myself as a freshman anymore,” Curry said. “We’ve all played the same amount this season. I have great teammates. It’s just really fun being out there.”
With the victory, the Orange finishes the regular season undefeated in conference play for the second consecutive year. Syracuse is the No. 1 seed heading into the ACC tournament after being crowned ACC regular season champions.
Danny Varello collected 16-of-27 faceoffs including the last two that led to the game-tying and subsequent game-winning goals. Curry finished with a career-high three points, while Rehfuss’s four goals tied a career high.
Syracuse is back inside the Carrier Dome next Saturday when the team hosts Navy at 2 p.m.