Marist v. (2) Syracuse
Marist took a 1-0 lead against Syracuse just 1:43 into the game but things rapidly changed for the Red Foxes in the Carrier Dome in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Orange responded to Marist's opening salvo with 10 consecutive goals before the Red Foxes breached the Orange's net again (Marist suffered through a 22:41 scoring drought after its initial tally), the push from Syracuse the creating the basis for a 10-3 halftime advantage and an eventual 20-8 victory against the Red Foxes. Kevin Rice pumped in nine points in a four-and-five composition while Jordan Evans came out from behind the curtain to register five goals for the Orange. Joseph Radin showed the nation his worth with five points against a solid Syracuse defense and J.D. Recor contributed four points in a one-and-three performance.
The blitz from Syracuse in the game's first half hour was dominant: The Orange held an estimated plus-seven possession advantage and converted over 52 percent of their 19 estimated offensive opportunities into scores. Syracuse committed only four turnovers over the first two quarters of the contest and shot a stunning 41.67 percent against the Red Foxes, forcing Dave Scarcello into a deflated save percentage (Scarcello held only a 44.44 save percent in the first half and made eight stops on 18 attempts in his save radius (Syracuse put 75 percent of its 24 shots before the intermission on goal)). The Orange's defense was as powerful as the team's offense, the unit holding Marist's potent offense to a conversion rate of 25 percent on 12 estimated defensive opportunities, keeping the Red Foxes shooting rate under 18 percent. Bobby Wardwell had a workmanlike four saves on seven shots on goal, turning away over 57 percent of Marist's legitimate attempts to breach his net. It was a total demolition effort from Syracuse on the team's familiar carpet, the Orange seemingly disinterested in bowing out of the tournament any time prior to Memorial Day Weekend.
The third quarter featured Syracuse picking up right where it left off before the break, although Marist had the better of the Orange at the sunrise of the period. The Red Foxes popped for two goals in the first 3:08 of the stanza to pull within five goals of Syracuse, but Syracuse reeled off four straight goals and six of the game's next seven markers to build an insurmountable 16-6 lead at the onset of the final quarter. Each team shot at least 40 percent in the period but Marist struggled to possess the ball with Syracuse holding a notable opportunity edge in the period. The inability of the Red Foxes to generate sustained offense -- the Red Foxes took only seven shots in penultimate period and committed five turnovers, the team mirroring its number of giveaways with its shots on goal -- produced a 10-goal deficit that the Orange were able to lean on through the final 15 minutes of regulation. Even with a 4-2 scoring margin in the final quarter, Syracuse's advancement was assured as was Marist's termination from The Show.
Syracuse will face Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinal round next Sunday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Marist ends one of the best seasons in the program's history with a 14-4 record and ownership of the MAAC regular season and tournament championships.
|Estimated Possession Margin||+18 (24)||-18 (42)|
|Estimated Raw Offensive Efficiency||33.33||47.62|
|Raw Offensive Shooting Rate||27.59%||42.55%|
|Estimated Turnover Rate||50.00||26.19|
|Team Save Percentage||41.18%||46.67%|