BALTIMORE — An unlikely player sent the Georgetown-Syracuse men’s lacrosse game into sudden-death overtime in the first game of the Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday. But a very prominent player gave top-ranked Syracuse the 9-8 victory.
Senior Stephen Keogh scored the winning goal, his fourth of the game, with 2 minutes 19 seconds left in overtime for the Orange (4-0, 1-0 Big East). In the past three meetings between the teams — all Syracuse wins — the Orange has scored 32 goals. Keogh has 13 of them, on 19 shots (68 percent).
Keogh’s heroics were necessary after Georgetown (2-3, 1-1) tied the game on a goal by junior Gerry Reilly with five seconds left. Reilly was recruited to Georgetown to play football; he joined the lacrosse team in 2009 as a walk-on and currently is a short-stick defensive midfielder.
On Saturday, the former football player had a 45-yard run of a different sort: Following a Syracuse turnover with 14 seconds to play, Reilly caught a pass from sophomore Chris Nourse, raced downfield and got a step on midfielder Josh Amidon. Reilly then scored on a low-angle shot past senior John Galloway, the first-team all-American goalie last year and Syracuse’s all-time leader in wins.
“I didn’t realize he was that fast,” Syracuse Coach John Desko said of Reilly. “My hat’s off to him. It seemed like every time I looked up, he was on the field. For him to have that much juice left in the tank at the end of the game, he must be in really good shape.”
The Orange won after freshman Chris Daddio (Loudoun Valley) won the faceoff in overtime; Keogh took over from there.
Georgetown’s players “played to win, not to avoid losing,” Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said. “That’s what we asked them to do, and I give them a lot of credit.”
The Hoyas kept the game close for two reasons. In the first practice after a 16-15 loss to Harvard on Tuesday — and based in part on having given up 20, 16 and 12 goals thus far this year — Georgetown installed a zone defense.
The defense was designed to slow down the game and Syracuse’s stable of strong runners and shooters. The other thing that kept Georgetown close was the play of sophomore Davey Emala.
Already this season, Emala has scored three goals in a preseason scrimmage against Virginia and in regular season games against Jacksonville and St. John’s. He also scored five goals in the loss to Harvard.
On Saturday he scored five goals, of many varieties: a behind-the-back shot; two shots from the left wing; two on extra-man offense. His final goal came after he grabbed a ball that had deflected off a teammate’s helmet.
l VIRGINIA 11, CORNELL 9: In the second game of a tripleheader that drew a crowd of 17,057, the No. 2 Cavaliers came back to defeat the No. 14 Big Red.
Cornell closed to 9-8 following a goal by junior Rob Pannell with 9:07 left. Pannell burned junior Matt Lovejoy — Virginia’s best defenseman — on the play.
Soon after, however, the Big Red (3-2) was called for a one-minute penalty, and junior Chris Bocklet scored an extra-man goal with 7:43 left for the Cavaliers (6-1).
The crucial sequence followed. On each of Cornell’s next three possessions, it had clear shots on senior goalie Adam Ghitelman, who saved all three. He stuffed sophomore Steve Mock on an extra-man chance. Pannell then found senior David Lau wide open in front of the goal with a perfect pass, but Lau’s point-blank shot was stuffed by Ghitelman.
And with 4:40 to play, senior captain Jack Dudley took a quick shot while Cornell still was inserting its offensive players onto the field. Ghitelman saved that as well. The Cavaliers put away the game with an extra-man goal by freshman Rob Emery with 2:43 to play.
Pannell clearly won his matchup against Lovejoy — he finished with four goals. Junior Colin Briggs scored three goals and Ghitelman made 13 saves for the Cavaliers.
l JOHNS HOPKINS 16, UMBC 5: Senior Chris Boland scored five goals as the 11th-ranked Blue Jays (5-1) routed the Retrievers (1-3).