Fourth-seeded Syracuse (No. 7) and three-seed Duke (No. 14) squared off in the ACC Championship game Sunday afternoon for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Orange defeated the Blue Devils 14-8 for the title this afternoon after losing to Duke 16-15 during the regular season.
With just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and Syracuse leading 9-8, officials delayed play because of poor weather. Rain poured onto the field and left a shallow pool of water, almost enough to submerge a lacrosse ball. The weather delay lasted approximately three hours before play resumed on a different turf field on site. Syracuse came out hot, shutting-out Duke during that final 7:10 of play and outscoring the Blue Devils 5-0.
The Orange scored the first goal of the game and kept a lead throughout the four quarters. Syracuse and Duke went back-and-forth scoring, the Orange never gaining more than a three goal lead on the Blue Devils before the game was delayed.
Tim Barber led the Orange in scoring with four goals and one assist. Sergio Salcido finished with two goals and three assists while Nick Mariano and Tewaaraton Nominee Dylan Donahue each scored two goals and added two assists. Derek DeJoe also finished with a pair of goals. Syracuse went two for five on man-up opportunities.
Warren Hill played in cage for the Orange during the regular season loss but today Evan Molloy made his sixth career start for Syracuse. Molloy seemed confident in cage early as he made the save on the first shot he saw. The goalie even had an assist to Dylan Donahue in the first half. Molloy made 13 saves on 21 shots on goal.
Ben Williams and Blue Devil Kevin Rowe split faceoff wins before the game was delayed. Williams dominated the X in the resumed play period, finishing with 14 of 25 total faceoffs. Rowe finished 11 of 24 and even took one faceoff to cage in the second quarter for his third goal of the season. Duke’s Teddy Henderson went zero for one against Williams.
Duke offense was led by Tewaaraton Nominee Myles Jones and Brad Smith who each scored a pair of goals for the Blue Devils. Duke goalie Danny Fowler saved 17 of 31 shots on goal.
With the win, Syracuse improves to 10-4 with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament while Duke falls to 10-7. The NCAA Selection show will take place May 8 at 9pm.