The 12th-ranked Hobart lacrosse team rallied from three goals down to tie eighth-ranked Syracuse at 12-12, only to have the Orange respond with a late goal to escape McCooey Field with a 13-12 victory. First-year Greg Niewieroski (Watertown/Watertown, N.Y.) scored what proved to be the game-winner with 4:13 remaining and senior goalie Jay Pfeifer (Gilman/Towson, Md.) made it stand up with two of his career-high 21 saves in the final minute.
Hobart senior midfielder Chris Scanlon (Corning West/Painted Post, N.Y.) led all scorers with six points on four goals and two assists, while sophomore Steven Brooks (Libertyville/Libertyville, Ill.) paced Syracuse with three goals and two assists.
Neither team led by more than two goals until the Orange (3-3) tallied the final two scores of the third quarter by senior Jarrett Park (Christian Brothers Academy/Otisco, N.Y.) and junior Greg Rommel (Henninger/Syracuse, N.Y.) and Brooks opened the fourth quarter scoring for a 12-9 lead with 8:45 remaining.
The Statesmen (5-2) made a run of their own when junior midfielder Alex Jessup (Fairfield Prep/Southport, Conn.) led a fast-break and found junior attackman Mike Conklin (West Genesee/Syracuse, N.Y.), who buried a shot on the crease for his second goal of the night at the 8:02 mark. Sophomore midfielder John Soden (Delbarton/Chester, N.J.) won the ensuing faceoff and less than a minute later Scanlon fired home his final goal of the night.
Soden won the next faceoff as well to finish the night with a 14-12 record. With just 19 seconds run off the clock, Scanlon setup senior attackman Nate Hill’s (Hamburg/Hamburg, N.Y.) third goal of the night.
A procedure call award Syracuse possession after the Hill goal, setting up Niewieroski’s unassisted game-winner.
Hobart had two chances to tie the contest in the final minute, including a point-blank shot by first-year attackman Daryl Veltman (Salisbury School/Georgetown, Ontario), but Pfeifer rose to the challenge. Veltman added a goal and three assists to the Hobart effort.
Statesmen senior goalie Dan Valente (Mt. Hebron/Ellicott City, Md.) also enjoyed a stellar night, turning away a career-high matching 19 Syracuse offerings.
A wild contest played in front of an overflow crowd of more than 4,000, the two teams combined for 92 shots (Hobart 55-42). Syracuse held a slim 31-29 advantage on ground balls, while the Statesmen won on special teams, scoring a pair of man-up goals (on six chances), while keeping the Orange’s man up offense (8th in the nation) without an extra-man goal (0-3).
Hobart will complete its current four-game homestand on April 2, when the Fairfield Stags come to town. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Boswell Field, but if the grass surface isn’t ready, the start time will be pushed back to 4 p.m. on McCooey Field.