Navy ekes out 13-12 win over Syracuse on back of transition goals

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturco Navy’s Greyson Torain crossed midfield with fewer than 22 seconds left, the Midshipmen trailing by one. He found John Salcedo, making his second college appearance, open near the 25-yard line. The freshman cut toward the net, forcing a slide from Syracuse’s Andrew Helmer. A quick flip pass was controlled by senior Jack Ray, who took a step and bounced the ball by goalie Dom Madonna.With fewer than 10 seconds left, Navy had tied the game. The following faceoff was won by senior Joe Varello, who jumped up and beat Madonna with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. It came from a loose ball that the senior faceoff specialist scooped up and fired, a point-blank shot that lifted the No. 14 Midshipmen (9-4, 7-1 Patriot) over No. 9 Syracuse (7-5, 4-0 Atlantic Coast), 13-12, on Saturday afternoon inside the Carrier Dome. A swift comeback from Navy was sparked by its offense that ranks 55th in the country, beating SU’s defense often and consistently creating open looks.“It was unsettled situations,” SU head coach John Desko said. “We were doing some things off the faceoff when we were leaving (Torain) wide open. (He) really hurt us today dodging, it didn’t appear that we had anybody that could stay with him.”Torain started the transition in Navy’s eventual game-tying goal and finished the day with a hat trick. On one play, he had spun away from a collapsing Matt Lane and Peter Dearth and found himself alone with only Madonna to beat. He did just that, giving Navy a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter. To open the second half, he darted toward open field and found himself alone, yet again, beating Madonna to give Navy the lead back, 7-6.The Midshipmen were without leading scorer Christian Daniel,= for nearly the entire game. Daniel came on while man-up twice, scoring a goal the second time around, but barely saw any playing time. Yet, on Saturday, it was Navy’s offense scoring its third-highest season output that lifted the team to a win over the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We knew they were a good defense obviously so we had to get a lot done in transition,” Ray, who finished with four goals, said.Transition is where Ray tied the game late and where Varello gave Navy the game-winning goal. It was where Navy constantly barraged Madonna, who made 11 saves, a handful of them coming at point-blank range. Whether it was off turnovers, saves or faceoff wins, Navy attacked in transition, which Desko said is common for the Midshipmen.The first four goals of the game came in transition, where SU’s defense was left scrambling. Navy’s second goal started with a save leading to a quick run out. Ray took a hit from a diving Tyson Bomberry before reestablishing himself, turning and finding Dave Little. The SU defense had put its attention toward the 6-foot-6 Ray and didn’t see Little alone on the other side, who beat Madonna top shelf.The following Navy goal came from a defensive midfielder, who spun between Austin Fusco and Brad McKinney, darting toward the goal alone. He put the ball away easily.“Anytime you can get good ball movement and body movement, you like to think eventually the defense is going to get crossed up,” Navy head coach Rick Sowell said. “And I think that was part of it. If you’re a threat to dodge to the goal, the defense has to pay attention to you and sometimes you get caught ball watching.”Tied at eight as the third quarter came to a close, Navy retained possession off a faceoff. Little fired an open shot toward Madonna who blocked the ball away, but the Midshipmen scooped the ground ball. Little found himself alone up top and shot again, this time the ball clanking off top post.But Navy recovered the ground ball before Chris Hill fired an open shot of his own. Madonna stopped the shot and SU pushed transition. With an opportunity to take a lead into the fourth quarter, Navy was stuffed by Madonna, who made a pair of point-blank saves over a one-minute span.Madonna’s performance in net was not enough for Syracuse. He gave the Orange an opportunity to pull away, and it almost did. SU led by two in the final six minutes, and even after Navy tied the game on a man-up goal, Syracuse’s Tucker Dordevic scored with 58 seconds left to take a 12-11 lead.But the defense collapsed under pressure, getting beat in transition like it had all game. A turnover from Dordevic resulted in the Ray goal to tie the game. And then Varello sunk the dagger after winning the faceoff.Navy scored its first four goals in transition and picked up a few more along the way. It was only fitting the game-tying and –winning goals ended in similar fashion. Commentslast_img

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