April 13, 2013

Syracuse Squeezes Out Rutgers Win Using Late Run

from staff reports

JoJo Marasco matched his career-high with five assists and forced a crucial turnover with less than a minute left that led to Derek Maltz's winning goal Saturday.
© Kevin P. Tucker

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rutgers coughed up a five-goal lead and Syracuse scored seven of the game's final eight goals to come back to win 12-11 on Saturday afternoon in front of 4,048 at the Carrier Dome.

Orange junior attackman Derek Maltz scored the game-tying and winning goals to cap the Syracuse rally. Maltz tied the game with 2:04 left and notched the final dagger on the Scarlet Knights with just 10 ticks on the clock.

Rutgers led 10-5 at the start of the fourth quarter and trailed for the first time all day when Maltz put the Orange up by one on the winning goal.

"To get out of here with a 'W' is good," Syracuse coach John Desko said. "We'll take it and run today."

Syracuse, playing without Scott Loy due to injury, improved to 9-2 and 3-1 in Big East play. Rutgers dropped to 2-11 and 0-5 in the Big East.

The game marked the eighth time this season that the Scarlet Knights lost by two goals or less. RU held a 12-8 saves advantage and collected three more ground balls, 37-34, than the Orange.

Syracuse midfielders Luke Cometti and JoJo Marasco, who were both honored in a Senior Day ceremony before the game, combined for 13 points in the victory. Cometti tallied a career-high six goals and added one assist to finish with a personal-best seven points. Marasco contributed one goal and matched his career high with five assists. He also forced a turnover with less than a minute remaining that led to Maltz's winning goal.

"We almost expected a game like this, having three games in one week," Desko said. "We were able to come back against Princeton at their place and then prepare for Cornell on Wednesday night — another one-goal game. I thought we came out flat today. I don't want to take anything away from Rutgers. I thought they played well and shot well. We just didn't come in with that same intensity that we had two games ago."

Rutgers sophomore faceoff guy Joseph Nardella was dominant for most of the game, winning 18 of 26 faceoffs for a .692 percentage, but Syracuse freshman Cal Paduda won just enough down the stretch.

The Orange trailed nearly the entire game and faced a 10-5 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter before going on one of its patented scoring runs. SU netted five goals in the span of 8:40 and just like that the game was tied. Cometti scored four times in the stretch, twice on passes from Marasco.

An unassisted goal by Anthony Terranova restored a one-goal advantage for the Scarlet Knights before Maltz answered with 2:04 left to knot the score, 11-11.

Maltz's equalizer set the stage for Marasco who made the play of the day by running the length of the field to chase down Rutgers defender Andrew Parrilla on a fastbreak with about 30 seconds left. Marasco dove and knocked the ball out of Parrilla's stick. Orange senior defenseman Brian Megill picked it up and streaked the other way. Megill gained the offensive zone and dished to Maltz who buried the deciding to goal to complete the comeback.

"I just saw their guy [Parrilla] was breaking," Marasco said of his crucial caused turnover. "I put my head down and tried to run as fast as I could. I figured I was going to dive. I just tried not to trip him, you know take a penalty, because then they'd have the ball with 30 seconds left. I was able to get my stick on his stick and Megill is one of the best at picking up ground balls. He realized the time, picked it up and he was able to run down the field and make a great pass to Maltz."

Overall, the duo of Cometti and Maltz teamed up to outscore the Scarlet Knights 7-1 in the fourth quarter. Cometti finished with four goals in the period and all three of Maltz's goals in the game came in the final 15 minutes.

In addition to the trio of Cometti, Maltz and Marasco, PaDuda contributed significantly to the Orange rally. Joseph Nardella had won 13-of-17 faceoffs for Rutgers in the first three quarters, but Paduda kept him in check in the final period, winning four of the quarter's nine draws. Paduda also tied up Nardella on the game's last faceoff, not allowing the Scarlet Knights another offensive opportunity.

For Rutgers, Terranova and Scott Klimchak combined for seven of the team's 11 goals. Terranova had four goals and added one assist to finish with a team-best five points. Klimchak scored three goals on the day, all in the third quarter, to help stake the Scarlet Knights to the five-goal lead they eventually squandered.

Syracuse outshot Rutgers for the game, 43-27. Defensively, the Orange recorded a season-high 13 caused turnovers and Rutgers finished with 21 total turnovers to 10 for Syracuse.

Nardella won 18 of the game's 26 faceoffs as the Scarlet Knights held an 18-8 in advantage in that category. They also owned a 37-34 margin in ground balls.

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