MLAX : HIGH AND LOW: Syracuse offense breaks through in 2nd half to avoid St. John’s upset bid

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img NEW YORK — After Jeff Lowman stymied Syracuse for nearly 40 minutes, Bobby Eilers finally cracked the code.Eilers used a crafty move to beat the St. John’s goaltender with Syracuse trailing by two goals with five minutes left in the third quarter. The senior midfielder made a sharp cut to the goal along the left side of the attacking zone, spun back toward midfield and fired a waist-high shot past Lowman.A few moments later, Eilers fired a bounce shot into right corner of the net to knot the game at five.‘(Lowman) didn’t actually stand on his head, we were putting the ball right on his stick shooting high,’ Eilers said. ‘We were persistent, we kept trying, but we realized when Coach (John) Desko said we’ve got to shoot low and away that’s when we had much better luck.’In an up-and-down game with a surprising St. John’s squad, Syracuse finally broke through. Tim Desko’s goal with 1:22 left provided the game-winning margin as the No. 6 Orange (3-1, 1-0 Big East) escaped DaSilva Memorial Field with a 9-8 win over the Red Storm (2-2, 0-1) in front of 1,779 on Saturday. Lowman was superb in goal in the first half, stopping 8-of-11 shots, but Syracuse exposed the goalie with a better offensive second half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange began to fluster Lowman in the second half, and one major error late in the game finally undid St. John’s upset bid.With the game tied at 8-8, a Syracuse pass rolled behind the net and Lowman was clamped the ball to the ground. But SU attacks Derek Maltz and Tommy Palasek impeded the goaltender’s clear attempt and a deflection fell lazily into the stick of Desko. He caught it in one motion and dove to his left to deliver the ball low into the net with 1:22 remaining.Desko’s second goal of the game proved to be the game-winner as the crucial miscue put the stamp on Lowman’s unraveling.‘You never get rattled, whatever happens out there you got to push through it and we never give up,’ Desko said. ‘And we know we’re going to eventually come away with the win and it was good win.’On SU’s opening possession, Syracuse midfielder JoJo Marasco rang shot off the post from the left wing. And that’s where the Orange’s early struggles began.Syracuse had 10 shots in the first quarter, but only four fell on net. The Orange did jump out to an early 2-1 lead.But the Red Storm responded and picked up three straight goals to earn a 4-2 lead. And Lowman gained some momentum. Midway through the second quarter with Syracuse looking to climb even, Maltz ripped a high shot from the left wing that was blocked down outright by Lowman.One possession later, midfielder Henry Schoonmaker moved to his right and took a leaping shot from straightaway that Lowman was able to cover up. And as Lowman smothered most of the Orange’s shots, Syracuse limped into halftime down 4-3.‘I think the biggest part of it was the shooting,’ head coach John Desko said. ‘I don’t know what our shots were, but we were getting our shots. We were getting our shots and normally when we get our shots we’re well in the double figures.’But with a redefined focus on attack in the second half, the ball finally began to find the back of the net for SU. Eilers connected on two consecutive low shots to draw the Orange even at five with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.Schoonmaker altered his approach, shooting low, and connected on a bounce shot in transition to give SU its first lead since the first quarter. Maltz added another to give the Orange its biggest lead of the game as it looked as if the Orange’s momentum would carry it to victory.St. John’s responded — as it had all game long — with two consecutive goals to tie the game at 8-8 with 3:57 remaining in regulation.But after pestering Lowman the entire second half with a different approach, Desko notched the game-winner.‘To come out of here with a win, 9-8 against a very good St. John’s team, it just helps us out,’ Maltz said. ‘A tight game down the road we’re just going to look back on this and remember how to fight through it and come out with the win.’[email protected]last_img