May 25, 2009

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Live Blog: NCAA Division I Men's Championship

LMO's Matt DaSilva blogs live from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., where Cornell and Syracuse meet for the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse championship at 1 p.m. Follow here for commentary and insights to this Memorial Day showdown, or visit LMO's Mayhem Central page for all NCAA tournament coverage.

Syracuse 10, Cornell 9 (OT)

* Cody Jamieson Proves Worth the Wait
* Syracuse's White Cements Role at Top LSM
*
Cornell Left to Swallow a Bitter Pill
* Cornell Suffers Heartbreaking Loss in NCAA Final (Cornell University Game Recap)
* Orange Rallies for Consecutive NCAA Titles (Syracuse University Game Recap)


Final: Syracuse 10, Cornell 9 (OT)

posted Monday at 3:31 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

Stunning.

Syracuse's Cody Jamieson scored on a back-door feed from Dan Hardy with 2:40 remaining in overtime to defeat Cornell, 10-9, and cement the Orange's second straight NCAA Division I championship

Syracuse has become the first back-to-back national champion since Princeton won three in a row from 1996-98, and it did so in typical, circus-like fashion.

After the whirlwind finish to regulation (see below), Cornell's John Glynn won the opening faceoff of overtime. Syracuse's Sid Smith came up with a timely strip in the defensive end, however, setting up the game-winning possession. Pat Perritt misfired. The Orange kept possession.

Upon the restart, Hardy wound up with the ball on the right wing. He ducked inside a charging Max Feely and found Jamieson sneaking around the near pipe. Jamieson, a junior college transfer who sat most of this season due to eligibility concerns but caught fire in the playoffs, caught the ball and dipped low on Jake Myers to stuff the game-winning goal.

Check back for comments, reactions and more coverage from LMO.


End of Regulation: Cornell 9, Syracuse 9

We're going to overtime.

I'll be brief. Syracuse's game-tying goal will go down as a classic.

After Cornell went up 9-6 with 5:31 remaining, 'Cuse creeped back. Back-to-back goals by Stephen Keogh and Cody Jamieson brought the Orange within 9-8.

Then in the last minute, Syracuse long pole Joel White -- all over the place in the fourth -- caused a turnover at midfield. Keogh came up with the ground ball and flipped it to Matt Abbott. Abbott launched a desparate pass over his shoulder that fortuitously found Kenny Nims on the crease. Nims received the high feed and lunged low to drop in the game-tying goal with 4.5 seconds remaining.

Cornell has won nine consecutive overtime games. Syracuse has won three in a row. Something's gotta give.


Third Quarter: Cornell 7, Syracuse 5

posted Monday at 2:54 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

Well, Cornell's winning the pace war. The game's tempo slowed significantly in the third quarter, with the Big Red holding a 7-5 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Syracuse is still in this game thanks to its second midfield and goalie John Galloway heating up. Midfielder Josh Amidon fired a lefty rifle off Jake Myers' hip to score at the 8:24 mark of the third quarter to pull the Orange within 6-5.

But Cornell's John Glynn, easily the player of the game to this point, answered at the 6:38 mark. Glynn scored cutting back door from up top on a feed from Ryan Hurley behind to put the Big Red back up 7-5. Hurley had tracked down a loose ball after Max Seibald's laser shot ricocheted high off poor Sid Smith, who was pelted in the line of fire.

Cornell is dominating possession and outshot Syracuse 23-11 in the second and third quarters combined. Glynn three goals and two assists, has won seven of 12 faceoffs and scooped seven ground balls.


Second Quarter: Cornell 6, Syracuse 4

posted Monday at 2:20 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

Syracuse is a much different team playing from behind. Its defense gets conservative and its offense gets impatient. Each of those traits has played directly into Cornell's hands, with the Big Red now staked to a 6-4 lead at halftime.

The Orange struck first in the second quarter, with Stephen Keogh beating Max Feely on a face dodge and bouncing a shot through Jake Myers' five-hole to tie the game at 3.

Cornell answered at the 11:38 mark with (who else?) John Glynn drawing a double team and finding an open Rocco Romero for a goal to put the Big Red back up 4-3.

Syracuse answered once more on an uncontested Pat Perritt goal at the 10:15 mark to forge the game's third tie - but it was all Cornell from there.

Cornell's Rob Pannell, quiet through the first 25 minutes, broke through and got top side from behind on Syracuse's John Lade, potting a goal to put the Big Red back up 5-4 with 5:08 remaining in the second quarter.

Just over a minute later, Pannell fed Max Seibald on the tail end of an extra-man opportunity. Seibald fired a laser stick-side low on Syracuse goalie John Galloway and scored to make it 6-4 Cornell at the 3:55 mark.

It looked like a chess match might ensue, with three timeouts in the final two minutes of the first half, but nothing materialized other than a Ryan Hurley penalty with 15 seconds left that could prove costly for Cornell, which will start the third quarter a man down. (Hurley was flagged for pushing while riding near the midline; from our view, it looked like a cross-check could have been called. Cornell's lucky he didn't draw a one-minute personal rather then the 30-second technical foul.)

Syracuse has not had the ball much. When it has, the Orange have been one-and-done when forced to bad angles, committed careless turnovers or been subject to timely Myers saves. He has six in the first half.

Other first-half stats of note: Glynn has two goals and two assists and is 5-of-10 on faceoffs. Cornell has outshot Syracuse 23-18. The six goals are the most the Orange has allowed in a first half this season.


First Quarter: Cornell 3, Syracuse 2

posted Monday at 1:49 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

Cornell has willed its way to this NCAA championship game, and John Glynn has willed the Big Red to a 3-2 lead after the first quarter.

After a moving pre-game ceremony that included the Massachusetts National Guard waving a mainland United States-shaped parachute of the American flag, Glynn, Cornell's do-it-all midfielder, got to work right away.

Glynn scored the game's first goal 3 minutes, 36 seconds into the game, sweeping right and beating Syracuse defensive middie Jovan Miller. Max Seibald, who always seems to have a hand even if not statistically, provided the screen on the crease.

Glynn struck again four minutes later, this time beating Matt Abbott on a lefty sweep, switching to his right hand and shooting low to beat Syracuse goalie John Galloway and put the Big Red up 2-0.

Syracuse fought back however, on goals by attackman Chris Daniello (at the 5:46 mark) and Greg Niewrowski (at 2:44) to tie the game at 2-2. The second goal came with Syracuse's second midfield connecting, as Josh Amidon got the assist. The Orange will need that unit to stay fresh and play well.

Cornell struck once more in the final minute, and again it was Glynn wreaking havoc. He swim dodged to draw the defense up and found Ryan Hurley sneaking around the back of the cage, and Hurley deposited it to give the Big Red a 3-2 lead with 21 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Syracuse has missed uncharacteristically from close range a couple of times already, including Cody Jamieson on a gimme-feed from Kenny Nims. Cornell also dropped into a zone defense late in the first quarter to prevent such looks. We'll see if the Big Red utilizes that more.

Nothing's certain at this point, but the Big Red is 12-0 this season when leading after the first quarter.


Cornell, Syracuse Set for Showdown

posted Monday at 12:25 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

Happy Memorial Day, folks! This day bears significance that stems well beyond any lacrosse field or NFL stadium, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince central New York lacrosse fans of that, considering the teams currently taking the field at Gillette Stadium for the NCAA championship.

Cornell has relished its underdog role, which it no doubt assumes again today against Syracuse, the defending Division I champion. A win today would make the Orange the first repeat champion since Princeton won three in a row from 1996-98. Should the Red win, it would become the first team other than 'Cuse, Hopkins, Princeton or Virginia to take home the NCAA crown since 1992.

Cornell got here by stunning top seed Virginia in convincing fashion, a 15-6 victory in Friday's semifinal. Syracuse steamrolled Duke, 17-7.

Cornell has not advanced this far since playing for the NCAA championship in 1988, also against Syracuse. The Orange won, 13-8. It was a slugfest, with the teams combining for 98 shots and the goalies combining for 40 saves. Paul Gait and Gary Gait scored two goals apiece for 'Cuse; Tim Goldstein (to whom current Cornell freshman sensation Rob Pannell has drawn comparisons) netted three goals in the losing cause for the Red.

Syracuse defeated Cornell, 15-10, in the teams' annual regular season matchup April 7. Both defenses are vastly improved since then.

Here are the projected starters for Syracuse:

A Stephen Keogh
A Kenny Nims
A Chris Daniello
M Dan Hardy
M Matt Abbott
M Pat Perritt
D Sid Smith
D John Lade
D Matt Tierney
G John Galloway

For Cornell:

A Rob Pannell
A Ryan Hurley
A Chris Finn
M John Glynn
M Rocco Romero
M Max Seibald
D Matt Moyer
D Michael Howe
D Max Feely
G Jake Myers

Speaking of projections, here's ours:

Krome: Syracuse 15, Cornell 12
Attendance: 38,218

Cornell already pulled one stunning upset. Can the Big Red do it again? As much as I would like to see a "new" national champion, the Orange have too many weapons, and I don't think the Red's defense can negate those like it did Saturday. Syracuse pulls away in the second half and wins a game that isn't as close as my projected final score would indicate.

Ohanian: Cornell 10, Syracuse 9
Attendance: 37,555

Similar to Navy's appearance in the 2004 final, I'm excited that today's championship match-up brings another "newcomer" to the last day of the season. Cornell has a storied lacrosse history, but hasn't been in the final since 1988. Nevertheless, the Big Red did not play like a team overwhelmed by the surroundings in defeating Virginia on Saturday. I don't think they'll be intimidated today either.

DaSilva: Syracuse 13, Cornell 8
Attendance: 39,393

What the hay, I'm going with the same score as the '88 final. If Cornell has Internet access in its locker room, I'm sure it will find some way to draw from this to pound on the Orange like it did the Wahoos. The Big Red's defense is confident as ever after holding Princeton to four goals and Virginia to six. Believe me, holding Syracuse to 13 is a compliment. The Orange has so many threats around the cage. Syracuse's versatility, the ability to run-and-gun but also thread the needle in six-on-six sets, and its ability to apply pressure on defense will key its win.




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