March 10, 2012

Desko Nets Winner as Syracuse Survives St. John's

from press release

QUEENS, N.Y. – Redshirt senior Tim Desko (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored with 1:25 left in the game to lift No. 6 Syracuse (3-1, 1-0 Big East) to a 9-8 victory against St. John's (2-2, 0-1) in the conference opener for both teams Saturday, March 10 at DaSilva Memorial Field.

Desko picked up a loose ball in front of the cage and threw it past Red Storm goalie Jeff Lowman to break an 8-8 tie. It was Desko's second goal of the game, and the Orange successfully defended for most of the final minute to secure the win.

With the victory, the Orange improved to 5-0 against St. John's and 13-0 all-time in Big East play.

Desko and sophomore Derek Maltz (Ashburn, Va.) led the Orange with three points each. Both players recorded two goals and one assist. Seniors Bobby Eilers (Simsbury, Conn.) and Kevin Drew (Katonah, N.Y.) also scored twice for Syracuse. Drew's two goals tied his career high and represented his first points of the season.

Facing its first ranked opponent of the year, St. John's challenged the Orange from the outset and led 4-3 at halftime and 6-5 early in the fourth before Syracuse rallied to win.

St. John's fighting spirit was evident early. Colin Keegan collected a loose ball and scored after an outlet pass by sophomore goalie Matthew Lerman (Villanova, Pa.) was batted down to put the hosts ahead, 1-0.

Following Keegan's icebreaker, Syracuse notched consecutive goals to go up 2-1 heading into the second period. Junior JoJo Marasco (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) dodged down the alley and dumped the ball inside to Maltz who scored with 3:13 left to tie the game. Drew followed with an unsettled goal 12 seconds before the quarter expired to give SU its first lead.

An unassisted goal by the Red Storm's Terence Leach early in second quarter tied it, and two goals by Kevin Cernuto in the span of six seconds pushed the St. John's margin to 4-2 with 8:08 left in the half.

After Cernuto's second goal, the Orange won the ensuing faceoff and Drew scored in transition to trim the St. John's advantage to 4-3 at halftime

In the third quarter, a Leach goal at the 11:07 mark gave the Red Storm a 5-3 lead, but Eilers found the cage twice in the last six minutes of the period to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the fourth quarter.

Eilers's two goals kick-started a 5-1 Syracuse run that resulted in an 8-6 Orange margin with 7:38 left in regulation. However, the Red Storm refused to go away. Harry Kutner scored unassisted, and Cernuto tallied his third goal of the day with 3:53 left to tie the game at eight.

That set the stage for Desko, who alertly scooped up a loose ball and scored after junior Steve Ianzito's (Clay, N.Y.) pass on a fastbreak was knocked down and couldn't be controlled by Lowman.

The Red Storm had one last chance to tie it with under a minute to play. After Marasco was leveled along the sideline, St. John' gained possession and called timeout. On the restart, Charlie Holenstein got free inside. His shot from point-blank range with 35 seconds left missed the mark. St. John's maintained possession, but never got another good look at the cage.

Lerman made six saves in the first half for Syracuse. He was replaced by sophomore Dominic Lamolinara (Arnold, Md.) at halftime. Lamolinara allowed four goals and recorded two saves in the second half to earn the win.

Lowman kept the Red Storm in the game with 15 saves. Leach and Cernuto paced the St. John's offense with three goals each.

Syracuse owned a 37-28 advantage in shots for the game and converted on two of its three extra-man opportunities. The Red Storm went 3-for-5 with the man advantage and won 13 of the game's 21 faceoffs.

The Orange concludes its three-game road trip Saturday, March 17 at Johns Hopkins. Faceoff is slated for 4 p.m. on ESPNU.

Game Notes

Junior defenseman Brian Megill (Clark, N.J.) was credited with his first collegiate point when he assisted on Drew's goal at the end of the first quarter ... Megill also went 3-for-4 in his first action at the faceoff X ... Sophomore defender Matt Harris (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) sets career highs in ground balls (6) and caused turnovers (4) ... Marasco recorded two assists to extend his point streak to 12 games ... The Orange has outscored its foes 166-80 all-time in Big East play ... The loss was the Red Storm's first at home this season.

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