#18 Syracuse Tops Army In Defensive Showdown

Sam Somers

Sam Somers

Feb. 24, 2013

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers stood tall with a career-high 18 saves, but the Army lacrosse team did not have an answer on the offensive end in a 6-2 loss at #18 Syracuse on Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. Sophomore attackman John Glesener and junior middie Tyler Kamide accounted for the Black Knights’ goals, but the Orange defense held the rest of the team in check all afternoon en route its first win of the season.

Both of Army’s goals came in the second quarter, but Syracuse netted three of the final four goals of the game to secure the win. Senior midfielder Pat Brennan assisted on Kamide’s score to round out the Black Knights’ point production.

“Give all the credit to Syracuse; they played especially well today defensively,” said eighth-year head coach Joe Alberici. “We also didn’t help ourselves going into the second half. This was a game of possession, and Syracuse dominated possession time in the second half, and that was the difference in the game.

“Our guys played hard and with great enthusiasm,” he continued. “There’s a lot we can take from this. Unfortunately, we just didn’t play our best Army lacrosse today.”

Syracuse (1-1) outshot Army (2-2) 44-25 and snagged 34 ground balls to the Black Knights’ 21. Each team won six face-offs.

Somers scattered 18 saves – the most made by an Army player since Tom Palesky ’11 – throughout the contest. The Wilton, Conn., native turned away seven shots in the second quarter.

A defensive struggle from the opening face-off, the Orange drew first blood Billy Ward went low to beat Somers at the 4:24 mark. The Black Knights looked to level the score with a long possession not long after, but were unsuccessful in four shots shots down the stretch. The 1-0 lead held at the end of the first frame.

After Army successfully killed a Syracuse man-up chance early in the second quarter, the Orange took advantage later on the same possession, pushing its lead to 2-0 with a Scott Loy goal at the 11:42 mark. Syracuse won the ensuing face-off and scored again less than two minutes later as Luke Cometti score at 10:09 put them on top, 3-0.

The Black Knights cashed in on its first lengthy possession of the quarter as Brennan fed Kamide, playing in front of a hometown crowd, for a tricky behind-the-back score at the 8:15 mark. Syracuse quickly stole the momentum back with back-to-back goals over the next four minutes to match its largest lead of the game, 5-1.

Glesener found himself in space and ripped an eight-yard lazer with just under four minutes left in the half, pulling the Black Knights within 5-2 with 3:53 on the clock. Somers stood tall in the goal throughout the opening 30 minutes of action, registering eight first-half saves.

Freshman midfielder Alex Daly won the opening face-off of the second half, resulting in two quality shots over the first two minutes for the Black Knights. Neither got through, however, and Syracuse took advantage of an EMO opportunity on its next possession and pushed its lead to 6-2 with 9:57 remaining in the quarter. The teams played back-and-forth the rest of the way, as the score remained 6-2 at the end of the frame.

Army registered six shots in the fourth quarter, including sophomore Alex Newsome bouncing one off the post at 9:15, but could not punch the ball through. Syracuse came up empty on nine fourth-quarter shots to provide the final 6-2 decision.

All six of Syracuse’s goals were scored by different players. The Orange were 2-for-3 on man-up chances for the afternoon.

Army heads south for its longest road trip of the regular season next week. The Black Knights meet Michigan for the first time in program history on Saturday, March 2, in the final game of the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic. Face-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla.

Game Notes: Garrett Thul had the honor of carrying the traditional American flag out of the Carrier Dome tunnel … he later saw the nation’s longest goal-scoring streak end at 42 games … Thul was held scoreless for just the second time in his career … Army’s six goals allowed are the fewest it has yielded this season … the teams combined for 25 turnovers (13 Army, 12 Syracuse) … Army played in front of a season-high 3,613 spectators … Alex Daly took all 12 face-offs on the day … senior defenseman Brendan Buckley caused a team-high two turnovers and tallied four ground balls.

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