NOTRE TAMED: Syracuse offense breaks out late, defense clamps down on Fighting Irish to send Orange to Big East tournament finals

first_img Related Stories Lamolinara shines in Big East tournament semifinal after watching from sideline last year Syracuse defense frustrates Notre Dame for 2nd time in 6 daysSyracuse’s 2nd midfield line continues to produce, scores 3 goals in Syracuse’s win over Notre DameGallery: Syracuse beats Notre Dame 9-3 to advance to Big East tournament final Published on May 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+center_img VILLANOVA, Pa. – It didn’t matter who dodged, passed or shot for either team for nearly 27 minutes. The attack would be checked away, the pass would sail out of bounds and precious chances sailed wide or nestled into a goalie’s stick.The Syracuse and Notre Dame offenses were trapped on either side of the field, bound by their own half-field sets and opposing air-tight defenses – until Steve Ianzito blew past UND’s Conor Doyle to scoop up another stray Irish pass. Ianzito darted 40 yards, dished to Derek Maltz at the point, Maltz rifled to Donahue. Donahue buried his shot to put SU up one.The whole play took eight seconds. It took Notre Dame another 28 minutes and 23 seconds to score.Ianzito’s breakaway keyed a 3-0 SU run to end the first half. It shattered No. 5 UND (10-4) and its defense’s hold on the game. No. 3 Syracuse’s (12-3) stayed as tight as ever and the Orange offense ticked on as SU ran out to a 9-3 win in the Big East semifinals on Thursday in front of 2,517 fans at Villanova Stadium. That run busted open what was once a contained game. Still, the Orange defense kept the Irish under wraps and Notre Dame fell deeper and deeper into a 35-plus-minute scoring drought.“We just got our butts kicked by the same team in the course of five days twice,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFifty-five seconds had passed since Donahue’s fast-break finish when Hakeem Lecky shook his man with a faint half-step to his left. Lecky stepped up right and just ripped a shot into the upper-right corner from 12 yards out.With the quick, but often erratic, Lecky firing, it looked as though nothing would stop SU. Then, head coach John Desko called a timeout. Just as the game was breaking open into SU’s style and score, Desko paused it with 1:56 left in the half.And 31 seconds later, JoJo Marasco ran past Jack Near and fed Kevin Rice on the crease – 5-2 Orange.“With Dom seeing the ball and making big saves we knew that all we had to do on offense was put a couple in and we were going to win this game,” Marasco said.SU scored four more. The Orange offense ticked on while Notre Dame spiraled into defeat as Syracuse’s defense clamped down even more tightly.When Quinn Cully was whistled for a hold on Maltz with 13:09 left in the third, the scoreless streak was just 12 minutes old.Notre Dame finally settled into its first composed possession of the second half six minutes into the third quarter. Steve Murphy crept down the left hashes and saw Sean Rogers breaking open off the goal line for a seemingly certain goal. But a harsh body check clattered Murphy just as he flipped the ball toward Rogers. It sailed over Rogers and out of bounds.On Tuesday, SU goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara and his defense complained of Corrigan not giving them enough credit after the Orange held the Irish to just four goals in the Konica Minolta Classic on Saturday. After Thursday’s game a reporter asked Lamolinara if SU shut UND down, or the Irish were merely sloppy.Lamolinara pursed his lips and shook his head. “No,” he said. “I feel like it’s what we were doing as a defense … They gave up shots that I wanted to have on me.”The Fighting Irish continued to create decent chances. But the game was won. UND continued to spoil its own opportunities on the rare occasions its attackers escaped SU defenders.Rogers showed it as he batted away what would’ve been an easy fast-break opportunity with 12 minutes remaining.“I wouldn’t say it was getting to us, but there is a realization when you’re down and they possess the ball for such long periods that we need a goal, but unfortunately we forced too many things,” Rogers said.And if there was any doubt who would play in Saturday’s tournament final, Marasco vanquished it. With his back turned to the goal, he cradled against his defender, 12 yards from the net on the left wing. Marasco turned to retreat to the point.Instead, with his back turned to the entire game, he flipped a blind over-the-shoulder pass to on-rushing Luke Cometti. Cometti buried his goal, SU’s last. Marasco threw his hands above his head.Said UND goaltender John Kemp: “I just think that they were canning shots. I think they got some good opportunities throughout the game and it’s kind of just they put it in when they needed to … They pretty much just took care of business.” Commentslast_img read more