No. 6 Virginia Edges No. 2 Syracuse, 12-11, In Men's Lacrosse

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Matt Poskay (file photo) and senior attackman John Christmas combined for seven goals.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Matt Poskay (file photo) and senior attackman John Christmas combined for seven goals.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

March 5, 2005

Final Stats | Video Highlights

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - First-year starting goaltender Kip Turner had 18 saves, while junior midfielder Matt Poskay and senior attackman John Christmas combined for seven goals as the No. 6-ranked Virginia Cavalier men's lacrosse team (3-0) defeated defending national champion Syracuse, 12-11, at the Carrier Dome. The loss snapped a 10-game home winning streak for the Orange, who last lost at home to Rutgers, also by a score of 12-11, back on April 12, 2003. It was only the 15th loss in 161 games all-time for the SU lacrosse program at the Carrier Dome since 1981.

In a back-and-forth game that has become characteristic of the Syracuse versus Virginia series, the Cavs got off to a 2-0 start behind first-quarter goals by Poskay and junior attackman Matt Ward. The Orange tied it up 2-2 after an unassisted goal by midfielder Jarett Park (Otisco, N.Y.) and a man-up tally by junior middie Greg Rommel (Syracuse, N.Y.) with 8:41 remaining in the first quarter.

Rommel gave SU its first lead of the game, 3-2, at 8:32 of the second period, but Virginia was quick to answer wtih a Brendan Gill goal at 8:03, and an unassisted Christmas score at the 5:31 mark.

Syracuse (1-1) made the most of its second extra-man opportunity of the game when junior attackman Brian Crockett (Yorktown, N.Y.) found fellow attackman Brett Bucktooth (Onondaga Nation, N.Y.) to tie the game at 4-4 with 1:59 remaining in the second quarter. UVA junior midfielder Kyle Dixon beat SU goaltender Jay Pfeifer (Towson, Md.) with a shot to the upper right corner with 1:19 remaining on the clock and the goal gave Dixon's team a 5-4 advantage going into halftime.

 

 

In the second half, the Cavs led by as many as three goals at three different times, but Syracuse never let it go beyond that. UVA built a 7-4 lead with the first two goals of the third quarter, one by Jared Little and the other by Poskay. Bucktooth fired a long, outside shot past Turner to pull the Orange to within 7-5, but Poskay registered his third goal of the afternoon to give the Cavs an 8-5 edge with 9:30 remaining in the third.

Bucktooth responded with his third goal of the game for Syracuse just 12 seconds later, but Christmas finished off a pass from Dixon at the 4:19 mark, which once again gave the Cavaliers a three-goal lead, 9-6.

That is when Syracuse showed some fight. The Orange tallied the game's next four goals during the end of the third quarter and early into the fourth, which gave the home team a 10-9 lead, its first time on top since the start of the second quarter.

Crockett, who had a career-high six goals in the Virginia game last year and is a returning All-America for Syracuse, recorded back-to-back goals to pull his team to within 9-8 at the end of three quarters of play. Senior captain Jake Plunket (Cortland, N.Y.) stepped up with a big, unassisted goal just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter, which tied the contest at 9-9. He dodged his way to the goal and beat Turner with a low shot to the far corner. Sophomore middie Steven Brooks (Libertyville, Ill.) capped off SU's 4-0 mini-run with a blast from up top with 11:55 left to play.

UVA never got rattled. Poskay scored his game-high fourth goal of the game off an assist from Drew Thompson at the 10:19 mark. That was followed by an unassisted goal by Ward at 9:24 and a highlight-reel score by Christmas, who jammed a shot between what looked like absolutely zero space between Pfeifer and the near goal post. Christmas' third goal gave Virginia a 12-10 lead and ended up being the game-winner.

Crockett ripped off his own dazzler with 1:17 remaining in the game to pull the Orange to within 12-11. SU took a timeout with 1:01 left and Park's game-tying attempt was blocked by a UVA defender with 36 seconds remaining.

Pfeifer finished with nine saves for Syracuse. The senior goalie is now three saves away from the 600th of his career. He will attempt to reach that milestone in the Orange's next game against No. 8-ranked Georgetown. Syracuse and Georgetown will meet in The First 4, an elite lacrosse invitational being held at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on March 12. Notre Dame and North Carolina will play in the first game of the NCAA Division I doubleheader, while the Orange and Hoyas square off in the second match at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Both games will be televised LIVE by CSTV: College Sports Television. me and North Carolina will play in the first game of the NCAA Division I doubleheader, while the Orange and Hoyas square off in the second match at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Both games will be televised LIVE by CSTV: College Sports Television.