KENNESAW, Ga. – Fourth-seeded Syracuse scored five straight goals after a long weather delay and defeated third-seeded Duke, 14-8, to claim the 2016 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship Sunday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
With 7:10 remaining in the fourth quarter and Syracuse leading 9-8, a storm front moved through the area that halted the game. With Fifth Third Bank Stadium deemed unplayable after heavy rain, the game resumed after a delay that lasted 2:56 to an auxiliary turf field across the street.
After the restart, Syracuse scored five straight goals to clinch the league title. The championship is the second straight for the Orange, who also defeated Duke in the title game last year.
“They just relaxed and caught their breath when we first came back inside,” said Syracuse head coach John Desko. “We got them fired back up to come back out and it was great to start with the man up, and we were able to carry the momentum from there.
“I was pleasantly surprised because I thought after sitting around for hours they would come out flat but they came out fired up.”
Tim Barber led the way for Syracuse with four goals and one assist, while Derek DeJoe, Dylan Donahue, Nick Mariano, and Sergio Salcido all chipped in with two apiece. Evan Molloy made 13 saves in net for the win.
Myles Jones and Brad Smith scored twice for the Blue Devils, while goalkeeper Danny Fowler tallied a season-high 17 saves in the loss.
The two teams traded goals in the first quarter. Salcido got the Orange on the board first just under two minutes into the game. Smith and Matthew Giampetroni scored for the Blue Devils, while Barber and Donahue joined Salcido in the scorebook for Syracuse.
Donahue’s goal, which came with one second remaining in the first quarter, extended his goal streak to 39 consecutive games and 53 straight with a point, the longest in the nation.
Justin Guterding tied the game at 3-3 just over one minute into the second quarter. The Blue Devils took advantage of a turnover and Guterding converted for his 39th of the season.
The Orange notched the next two goals, a man-up score by Mariano and an even-strength goal from Joe Gillis, to take a 5-3 lead. After the two teams traded scores, Duke’s Jack Bruckner grabbed a loose ball in front of the goal and scored his 37th of the season to make it a 6-5 Syracuse lead heading into halftime.
The Orange came out strong to start the second half, getting two straight goals from Mariano and Barber to give Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 8-5. Duke answered back with scores from Jones and Smith to make it a one-goal game heading into the fourth quarter.
After an Orange goal by Barber and a Blue Devil goal from Jones, the storms rolled in and halted play. Syracuse ran off five straight after the delay to win the championship.
Syracuse won 14 of 25 faceoffs in the game, including 7 of 8 in the fourth quarter. The Orange outshot the Blue Devils 46-41 and held a 33-22 edge in ground balls.
2016 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship All-Tournament Team