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College lacrosse: Syracuse men stage big rally to shock Duke in ACC semifinal

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CHESTER, Pa. — The Syracuse University men’s lacrosse team displayed a flair for the dramatic in its first foray into the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament play.

The fourth-ranked Orange scored twice in the final 15 seconds of regulation, including redshirt sophomore attackman Dylan Donahue’s game-winner with one second left, to complete a rally and edge No. 2 Duke, 16-15, on Friday in an ACC semifinal game at PPL Stadium.

Third-seeded Syracuse (10-3), which trailed as many as four goals in the second half, advances to the ACC tournament championship game to face fourth-seeded Notre Dame (7-5), a 6-5 winner over top-seeded Maryland, at 1 p.m. Sunday at the same venue.

“Obviously very excited we got the win today,” Syracuse coach John Desko said. “Duke came out and they’re a terrific team. We made some mistakes and they took advantage of every single one of them. Fortunately, we got a couple faceoffs at the end and these guys (Rice and Donahue) made a great play to get the win for us in our first time in the ACC Tournament.”

Donahue finished with four goals and a pair of assists, and Kevin Rice totaled eight points, including five assists, for the Orange, which has won six straight games since enduring a 21-7 loss at Duke in an ACC regular-season game on March 23.

Case Matheis (three goals, two assists) and Jordan Wolf (goal, four assists) each totaled five points for second-seeded Duke (12-3), which had its winning streak end at eight.

Kyle Keenan and Josh Dionne each scored to open the fourth quarter to stake Duke to a 14-10 lead with 13 minutes, 38 seconds left in regulation.

But the Orange generated a 6-1 run the rest of the way, including successive goals from Rice, Hakeem Lecky, Derek Maltz and Donahue to tie the game at 14-14 with 4:29 left.

After Wolf scored an unassisted goal to provide the Blue Devils with its final lead at 15-14, with 3:15 left, Billy Ward scored the tying goal for Syracuse. Ward took a behind-the-back pass and fired a left-handed shot past Duke goalie Luke Aaron (12 saves) with 15 seconds left.

Chris Daddio won the ensuing faceoff and the ball ended up in the stick of Kevin Rice, who whipped a pass inside to Donahue, who spun and scored just before the final buzzer.

Goalie Bobby Wardwell made eight saves in the second half, allowing five goals, including three in the final quarter, to earn the win. Dominic Lamolinara made five saves in the opening half for Syracuse.

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