No. 1 Syracuse sneaks past Binghamton, 9-8, for ninth straight victory

first_img Published on April 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ Evan Molloy’s save with 11 seconds left may have saved the game, but Syracuse wouldn’t have been in the position of protecting a one-goal lead late if it hadn’t played one of the sloppiest games of its season.“This is a game,” SU head coach John Desko said, “where we had to roll up our sleeves and get better possessions at the offensive end, and really work for good shots. We didn’t do that. I didn’t like a lot of our decisions today, that led to turnovers.”The nation’s fourth-best team at taking care of the ball, averaging just under 11 turnovers per game, gave away 13 on Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. But the top-ranked Orange (11-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) overcame its mistakes to eke out a 9-8 win over unranked Binghamton (9-4, 3-2 America East). The Orange has never lost to the Bearcats in six matchups. This ninth one-goal victory was less of a good game gritted-out, Desko said, and more a byproduct of “uncharacteristic” mistakes and missed opportunities.“Our goal as a team,” senior attack Jordan Evans said, “has been to get better each game that we play. I don’t think the bar was set as high today. Our practice was a little bit of a lull this week. We picked it up in pre-game practice … but at that point it’s a little too late when you went through the motions the entire week.”Earlier in the afternoon, North Carolina lost to Notre Dame and it set up a second SU-UNC matchup in as many weeks for the first round of the ACC tournament next weekend in Durham, North Carolina.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’re going to really need to turn things around against North Carolina,” Evans said.On Saturday, Syracuse pulled out its accustomed early lead against Binghamton and went up 4-1. But how the Orange got there foreshadowed the rest of the afternoon. On eight consecutive possessions from mid-first quarter to the mid-second, Syracuse either turned the ball over (six) or scored (two).SU went almost a full 15 minutes without scoring and the Bearcats crawled back into the game. Binghamton drew out its possessions — BU received a half-dozen stall warnings — and made SU play defense for a minute or 90 seconds at a time. Binghamton won 10 second-quarter ground balls to Syracuse’s one. The longer BU made SU’s offense wait, the quicker it seemed SU wanted to get off a shot. And when SU came on offense, it faced the country’s No. 6 scoring defense.“Too many turnovers,” Desko said. “Too many bad decisions.”Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo EditorBU scored on the man-up to cut SU’s lead to two, on a rushed SU transition shot counter to bring it within one and tied it off after a win at the X that led to a goal. From there, Binghamton scored to take a one-goal lead off a Sergio Salcido turnover.In the second quarter, BU attack Tom Moore scored one his game-high five goals and Binghamton took its first lead on the Orange since 2014 after Salcido tossed a pass out of bounds. The senior midfielder had played the hero just a week ago, hitting an overtime game-winner against North Carolina. On Saturday, he was held pointless. He attempted two shots while dodging, neither of which were on goal, and tied a season-high with three turnovers.“He just kept trying to make something happen,” Desko said. “A lot of them just turned into bad decisions. He forced it in there a few times. … A lot of those guys want to make something happen, like they have all year long. It’s a natural thing to want to make something happen right away. But that’s not how we wanted to play today.”At the end of the third quarter, tied at seven, midfielder Ryan Simmons said SU had the same conversation as it did at halftime. The possessions needed to be longer and the decisions, smarter.Then, in the fourth quarter, Syracuse flipped the narrative. The Orange converted Bearcat turnovers into goals. Brendan Bomberry fed Simmons, who scored a season-high pair of goals, with 10:47 to go and he handed SU back its lead. One minute, four seconds later, freshman midfielder Jamie Trimboli took a faceoff win on a violation and bulked up the Orange lead.After Simmons’ and Trimboli’s goals, and before Molloy made the game-saving stop, Binghamton called a timeout trailing 9-8 with 2:01 to play. They set up a play for Ryan Winkoff but, when he dodged to the goal, SU defender Marcus Cunningham chopped at his stick. The ball fell to the ground. SU grabbed the Binghamton turnover.“We got lucky, made a couple and went up,” Evans said. “The defense held it off.” Commentslast_img read more