Syracuse clinches 1st ever Big East title in season-finale win over St. John’s

first_imgNEW YORK — Even when Gavin Buckley made a miraculous save, St. John’s backup goalie couldn’t stop the Syracuse men’s lacrosse offense.After Buckley somehow knocked down Stephen Keogh’s between-the-legs shot, someone was there to clean up the rebound. And in this case, it was sophomore attack Tim Desko.Trickery abound, Desko picked up the ball right outside of the crease, swooped his stick around his back and put it in net for a 10-goal SU lead early in the fourth quarter. Frustrated and helpless, St. John’s freshman defender Parker Bratton threw a late hit on Desko, sending him to the turf with a push in the back.‘I mean, we don’t plan any of that,’ Desko said of his goal. ‘It just makes it fun for everyone.’All afternoon at DaSilva Memorial Field, St. John’s couldn’t stop the Orange’s offensive attack. Whether it was a 15-yard fling or a shovel from right on the doorstep. Whether it was a skillful display of trickery or a bit of luck on a deflection. Whether it was from one of Syracuse’s usual stars in Chris Daniello or from one of its lesser-known threats in Jeff Gilbert.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBehind that offensive performance, the No. 2 Orange cruised to a dominating 15-7 victory over the Red Storm in front of 1,508 fans in both teams’ regular-season finales. With the win, Syracuse (13-1, 6-0 Big East) clinched the inaugural Big East lacrosse conference championship. The 13 victories on the season are the most regular-season victories for the Orange since 1986, when it also finished with 13 wins.Like it has all season, the No. 7 ranked SU offense helped carry the team to victory, as the offensive attack put up double-digit goals for the 12th time in the Orange’s 14 games.‘I think we got off to a good start,’ SU head coach John Desko said after the game. ‘They weren’t sliding hard to us in the first quarter and the first half. And we just told our guys, ‘Hey, you’ve got the green light to go to the goal.”In flurries, Syracuse went to the goal. The Orange maintained extended possessions through much of the first half, finishing the first 30 minutes with a 26-15 shot advantage over the Red Storm (5-9, 2-4 Big East).Familiar offensive faces like Daniello were in the fray offensively, as the senior attack finished the first half with two goals. But also in the mix were Gilbert and midfielders Joel White and Kevin Drew, two players more known for their work as defensive midfielders.‘It feels fantastic,’ Gilbert said of his day. ‘Everyone likes to get in there and score a few times. It felt great.’White added two goals on the day, his fourth and fifth of the season. Four of those five goals have come in the past two games against Notre Dame and St. John’s.‘I just kind of take what’s there,’ White said. ‘I think I just kind of got lucky these past two games, putting two in the back of the net (each time). But I’m not too worried about scoring goals as long as we’re winning games.’By halftime, the Orange held a 10-2 advantage on the strength of that overriding offensive attack. High and low, from near or far, St. John’s starting goalie Jeff Lowman couldn’t get a handle on so many offensive weapons.There were goals like Jovan Miller’s patented 15-yard jump shot that found the net, as well as Cody Jamieson’s goal after he gobbled up a ground ball right in front of the crease.‘We just came out and tried to make a statement right away,’ Gilbert said. ‘Run-and-gun like we always do. We just tried to put it to them real quick and got a lead early and just kept it on all game.’Even when St. John’s thought they had the SU attack stifled, someone was always there. Somehow, someway, the ball always seemed to find its way into the back of the Red Storm net.Case in point: a pair of efforts from Tim Desko. There was that behind-the-back shot against the backup Buckley, and then there was another shot earlier in the game. It was one against Lowman that even Desko said he couldn’t believe ended up going in.As Orange midfielder Josh Amidon ran up the field, he flung a pass to Desko in front of the crease on which Desko couldn’t get a handle of the ball. But he deflected it in a direction enough that Lowman had no chance for a save.‘I just kind of put my stick out,’ Desko said, mimicking the way he reached out into the path of the ball. ‘It just tipped off the top of my head (of the stick) and went in. Just a lucky play, I guess. … But yeah, a good day overall.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on May 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm [email protected]last_img

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