No. 4 UMass Knocks Off No. 7 Syracuse in Overtime
April 26, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - Jeff Zywicki (Napean, Ontario) scored at the 1:10 mark of overtime to propel the No. 4-ranked UMass men's lacrosse team to a dramatic 14-13 overtime victory over visiting Syracuse before 2,362 rain-drenched fans at Garber Field. The win moves UMass' record to 12-1 overall, while Syracuse drops to 7-5 overall. It was the first victory for the Minutemen over Syracuse since the 1981 season, a span of 21 games.
The Minutemen started strong, outscoring the Orangemen, 4-2, in the first quarter. Chris Doyle (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), who notched his first career hat trick, opened the scoring 52 seconds into the game. The Minutemen led 2-1, when Kevin Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) tallied back-to-back goals to push the lead to 4-1, before Brian Nee scored with 2:18 left in the first frame to cut the margin to 4-2.
Syracuse continued its run with back-to-back goals by Liam Banks in the first five minutes of the second quarter to knot the score at 4-4, but Neil Lundberg (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and Doyle scored 1:20 apart to bump the margin to 6-4. The Orangemen would get within one goal twice in the final six minutes of the half, but Doyle completed his hat trick to give UMass an 8-6 lead.
After Ryan Connolly (North Andover, Mass.) pushed the lead to 9-6 at the 10:10 mark of the third quarter, Syracuse dominated the rest of the frame. Micheal Springer scored three times in the final 8:46 and Michael Powell notched his lone goal of the game to give the Orangemen a 10-9 advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.
The Minutemen responded, and tallied the first three goals of the quarter for a 12-10 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Leveille opened the quarter, scoring just 46 seconds into the frame to tie the game at 10, then Chris Fiore (Freeport, N.Y.) tallied goals 65 seconds apart to give UMass a two-goal lead. Syracuse rallied behind consecutive Brian Crockett goals to tie the game at 12. Gene Tundo (Orchard Park, N.Y.) scored with 3:27 left to push the lead back in UMass' favor, but Sean Lindsay scored an EMO goal from in close with five seconds remaining in the game to send the contest into overtime.
The Orangemen won the face-off in the extra session, but could not get off a shot, and turned the ball over with about 2:30 to play. The Minutemen went to work and stayed patient throughout. Zywicki then received the ball from behind the net, moved to the right slot and, with a defender on his back, turned and roofed a shot past SU goalie Jay Pfeifer with 1:10 to play in the extra frame and a 14-13 overtime victory. The goal was Zywicki's lone marker of the contest.
Syracuse outshot the Minutemen, 45-38, and won 24-of-30 face-offs. Five different Minutemen tallied three points as Doyle, Leveille and Fiore all notched hat tricks, Tundo accounted for two goals and an assist and Kevin Glenz (Merrick, N.Y.) tallied three helpers. Springer led Syracuse with four goals, Liam Banks scored a hat trick and Powell scored four points on one goal and three assists.UMass Sophomore goalie Bill Schell (Mahopac, N.Y.) stopped a season-high 16 shots in the cage.
The Minutemen will continue its run through the nation's top 10 as they will travel to Rutgers next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. With a win, UMass will win the ECAC title for the second straight year.