PUNCHING BACK: Donahue’s last-second goal pushes Syracuse past Duke, into ACC tournament final

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] CHESTER, Pa. — Five different Syracuse players touched the ball in a 14-second span.Chris Daddio — who had won just 10-of-31 faceoffs —beat Duke’s Brendan Fowler. With 10 seconds left and the game tied, Peter Macartney scooped up a groundball and fired a cross-field pass to Randy Staats.With three seconds left, Staats threw a pass into the middle of the field to Kevin Rice. Rice, Syracuse’s leading assist man, threaded a pass around Duke defender Henry Lobb and onto the stick of Dylan Donahue.With less than a second remaining, he tapped a shot by Duke goalkeeper Luke Aaron, into the back of the net.With a heavy rain falling on Friday night at PPL Park, Donahue’s last-second goal completed a 16-15 comeback win as No. 4 Syracuse (10-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) beat No. 2 Duke (12-3, 4-1). The Orange advances to the championship game of the ACC tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m., when it will face No. 9 Notre Dame. The victory avenged SU’s last loss – a rain-soaked 21-7 demolishing by Duke at Koskinen Stadium on March 23.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“After the faceoff I started coming off the field and didn’t even see what happened,” Daddio said. “But that’s just the way we play. That’s ‘Cuse lacrosse. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it’s always going to be.”Just 15 seconds before Donahue’s dramatic goal, Billy Ward tied the score at 14. Staats flipped a pass over his right shoulder around Lobb and Casey Carroll to seemingly no one before Ward snagged the ball and scored the tying goal.After trailing 5-2 at the end of the first quarter and 14-10 with 10 minutes to go in the fourth, it looked as if history would repeat itself.“Since that game against Duke where we lost by 14, we’re a different team,” Rice said. “This was really our first true chance to show that we are a different team. We could’ve folded in the first quarter but I think it showed that we’re not that same team that got beat down earlier in the season.”With 9:06 remaining in the game, Rice scored a wraparound goal to cut the deficit to 14-11.Thirty-eight seconds later, Hakeem Lecky took a pass from Donahue and stuffed a shot into the bottom-left corner of the net to cut the Blue Devil lead to 14-12.Syracuse had life.“We felt the defense was getting tired with the amount of possession we were having, and fortunately our middies have been doing a great job of dodging all year,” Rice said. “They start the defense rotating, and we were able to capitalize on the back end.”With 6:40 to play, Donahue found senior Derek Maltz, who cut the lead to one.On a Duke turnover, Drew Jenkins sprinted 30 yards down the field and found Rice, who found Donahue to tie the score at 14.Duke attack Jordan Wolf went around Jenkins and put a shot past Bobby Wardwell from in close to put the Blue Devils back up, 15-14, with just over three minutes to go.Fowler, one of the top faceoff specialists in NCAA history, won the ensuing faceoff, but the Syracuse defense caused a turnover before Ward’s tying goal.“It just shows how much character and how much poise we have,” Daddio said. “I’d like to have that against any team, but it definitely is an addition being Duke.” Commentslast_img read more