No. 15 Syracuse’s offense comes alive in 15-14 upset of No. 3 Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ DURHAM, N.C. — Nate Solomon ran into the middle of the field off a faceoff win and faced two Duke defenders. He didn’t force a shot. Instead, he pulled the ball away from pressure and waited for his teammates. Less than a minute later, the ball had spun down to the X where Stephen Rehfuss held it.The sophomore attack whizzed the ball between several Duke sticks to Brendan Curry. With time and space, Curry cocked back his stick and cranked SU’s first goal of the second half.“Duke doesn’t really let you hold the ball too much,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “They want to make you make a decision, you know take a bad shot or get a turnover so our guys played pretty poised at the offensive end today.”Syracuse scored twice more before Duke answered with its first goal of the third quarter, resulting in one of two second-half runs in which the Orange scored three goals in less than three minutes. After falling stagnant against both Johns Hopkins and Rutgers in consecutive weeks, No. 15 Syracuse’s (4-3, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) defense came alive in a 15-14 win over No. 3 Duke (8-2, 0-1) on Saturday at Koskinen Stadium.Against Johns Hopkins, there were too many turnovers. Against Rutgers, SU played timid to avoid the same fate. Instead it coughed the ball up a season-high 22 times. Against Duke, the nation’s second-best scoring defense, the Orange ran wild.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’ve been trying to find ourselves as far as who we are as a team,” Desko said. “I thought we played really well. We just competed for sixty minutes today.”Earlier this week, the Orange assessed its offensive troubles when former SU-star and current Atlanta Blaze head coach Liam Banks visited the team. He and his former team came to a conclusion, sophomore Jamie Trimboli said: play loose.On Saturday, the Orange did just that. It committed a minuscule eight turnovers, fired 34 shots, with goals coming from nine contributors. The Orange’s second-highest scoring mark of the season started less than a minute into the game.Peter Dearth gained possession of the ball at midfield off a restart. He immediately darted down the middle of the field. No Duke defender stepped toward him. So Dearth, with no hesitation, barreled straight toward the cage and beat the goalkeeper five-hole for his first goal of the season.“We kind of just started clicking on offense,” Trimboli said.Syracuse found nylon in a multitude of ways. Sometimes it was outside shots, like Curry’s rifle from distance, other times it was down the alley off-hand like Trimboli’s first goal of the game from the left side. One instance, production even came from behind the back.As Solomon’s shot was denied by the Duke goalkeeper and a penalty flag flew for a hit on Solomon, Rehfuss tracked the ball. He scooped the lonesome ball in front of the net and whipped his stick around his neck. From there it trickled into the net like a changeup.Rehfuss, who scored two goals and assisted thrice, fell silent in the second half. And so did the Orange offense, which didn’t score for 19 minutes of gameplay during parts of the third and fourth quarter. Then, like it hasn’t all season, the Orange broke out of its slump and combated with a run of its own.After Solomon broke the scoring drought, Brendan Bomberry ripped off two goals of his own. The first came on the crease, where Bomberry paced as Solomon spun between two defenders. Bomberry, with his cleats planted just outside the crease paint, tomahawked in his second of the game.On SU’s next possession, Bomberry posted up at the top corner of the offense. Curry, passing through several Duke sticks, fed Bomberry. The right-hander took one step in before ripping a high-to-low shot into the top left of the cage. Three shots, three goals, in less than two minutes.“I was just trying to do whatever I could to get this W,” Bomberry said. “If it meant scoring goals then I’ll score goals. If it meant you’d stick me in net and we’d win, I’d do that for sure too.”A little more than a minute later, after Duke ended SU’s run with a goal of its own, Jamie Trimboli finished things off for SU with a goal off a loose groundball. Finally, after weeks plagued by stale offense, Syracuse looked fresh. Comments Published on March 24, 2018 at 5:56 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img