For the final regular season game in the Carrier Dome of the 2017 season, it was only fitting that it once again came down to a one-goal decision.
Evan Molloy came up with a big save late and the No. 1 Syracuse men's lacrosse team (11-1, 4-0 ACC) improved to 8-1 in one-goal affairs, holding off Binghamton (9-4, 3-2 America East) 9-8 in the Carrier Dome on Senior Day.
After being outscored 6-3 during the second and third quarters, Syracuse jumped out to a 9-7 lead to start the fourth quarter and held on for its ninth-straight victory.
Jordan Evans scored three goals while Brendan Bomberry added a goal and two assists to lead the way with three points each. Jamie Trimboli and Ryan Simmons each scored twice on the day – each matching their career high - while Nick Mariano added a goal of his own. Nate Solomon, Paolo Ciferri, and Peter Dearth recorded one assist apiece.
Ben Williams won 8-of-20 faceoffs on the afternoon, with his third quarter win passing Chris Cercy to become the program's all-time faceoff wins leader. Williams, who set the record in under three seasons with the Orange, now has 626 faceoff wins in a 'Cuse uniform.
"Hats off to our defense," said head coach, John Desko. "For the amount of time they had to play, they really gutted it out, especially at the end of the game, to get those stops and to help get a couple of shots off. I thought Evan was terrific in the cage today, not only making the save but coming up with a couple of possessions and helping us get to the other end of the field."
After nearly five minutes of scoreless play to open the game, Simmons put the Orange on the board, scoring an unassisted goal for the first of game.
The Bearcats fought back, as Tom Moore evened the score with 7:26 to play in the first quarter. Joe Licata was credited with the assist on the goal. Moore came away with a game-high five goals on the afternoon.
After holding off a long Binghamton possession, the Orange jumped back in front. Starting with Scott Firman, Syracuse pushed in transition, with Evans eventually finding the back of the net on an assist from Dearth.
Two minutes later, with 1:51 to play in the game's opening period, Trimboli gave the Orange its first multi-goal lead of the day, sniping a goal in the top-right corner of the net.
Continuing to push the pace of play, the Orange scored another fast-break goal with five seconds to go in the first. This time, Evan Molloy started the break, throwing an outlet downfield to Ciferri, who found Brendan Bomberry for the score.
Opening the second quarter trailing 4-1, Binghamton bounced back just 1:52 in. Converting on a man-up opportunity, Licata scored for the Bearcats on a goal assisted by Thomas McAndrew.
Cutting the lead back to one, Stephen Petrelli scored Binghamton's second straight goal with 9:31 to play in the half. Just over a minute later, Binghamton evened the score, with Moore scoring on an assist from Matthew Kaser.
Stretching the second-quarter run to four, Moore gave the Bearcats their first lead of the day with 5:10 remaining in the period, scoring an unassisted goal for his third of the day.
The Orange snapped the run a minute later, as Jordan Evans scored the team's first goal of the period on an assist from Bomberry.
With 19.6 seconds left in the half, Nick Mariano found the back of the net for his first goal of the game, assisted by Nate Solomon. Despite being held scoreless for the first 10:41 of the second quarter, the Orange entered the halftime locker room holding a 6-5 lead.
Coming out of the break, Binghamton struck quickly, knotting the game at six. Again, the goal came from the stick of Moore, with Ryan Winkoff picking up his first assist of the day. With 8:31 remaining in the third period, T.J. Tiernan recaptured the lead for the Bearcats, pushing the score to 7-6.
After an 8:27 scoreless drought from both sides, and a full quarter of scoreless action for the Orange, Evans blew by his defender and scored his third of the afternoon with four seconds remaining in the period.
Jumping out to its first lead since the 13:02 mark in the third quarter, the Orange struck first in the fourth on a goal by Simmons, assisted by Brendan Bomberry. Trimboli pushed the lead to two with 9:43 to play, just over a minute later, beating his defender and scoring an unassisted goal.
Cutting the lead back to one, Moore scored his fifth goal of the day on an assist from Thomas McAndrew with 2:38 to play.
The Bearcats would receive one final opportunity to push the game to its sixth tie of the game, but a Molloy's kick save on a shot by Griffin Konen with 11 seconds to play sealed the victory for the Orange.
Next, top-seeded Syracuse will square off with No. 4 seed North Carolina in the ACC Semifinal on Friday at 6 p.m. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU, ACC Network Extra and the Syracuse IMG Radio Network. 'Cuse heads into the tournament seeking its third-straight ACC Championship.
GAME NOTES: Williams' 626 face off wins in under three seasons at Syracuse past the previous program record of 622 by Chris Cercy (1998-2001). Williams already owns the Syracuse career ground balls record with 330 Including his freshman season stats from Holy Cross, Williams now has won 812-of-1353 faceoffs (.600) in his career and collected 425 ground balls Jordan Evans' hat trick was his third time this season scoring three-or-more goals and the seventh time he's done so in his career Ryan Simmons matched a career high with a pair of goals, he had previously scored twice on two separate occasions, most recently against Hobart in 2015 It was the second time Jamie Trimboli has scored multiple goals in a game, with this season's matchup at Hobart as the other occasion Peter Dearth's assist was the first of his career Evan Molloy, Nate Solomon, Sergio Salcido and Andrew Helmer matched career highs with one caused turnover apiece Sergio Salcido's streak of 19-straight games with a point was snapped on Saturday Nick Mariano extended his consecutive games with a goal streak to 12, a mark that ranks 10th nationally among active players Saturday's win was the 498th win at Syracuse for head coach John Desko, including his time as a player and assistant coach. He won 35 games as a player, 229 as an assistant coach and now 234 as a head coach This was the ninth one-goal game for the Orange, 'Cuse is 8-1 in such contests. Of the 10 teams that have played at-least five one-goal games, Syracuse has by far the best winning percentage, with Vermont (4-1) serving as the only other one of those teams without multiple losses in one-goal affairs This is the second-most one-goal games in program history behind the 2013 team that played in the NCAA Championship game. They went 7-3 in their 10 one-goal games Syracuse was a perfect 13-for-13 on clears. It's the second-straight perfect clearing game and third time this season the Orange has been perfect on clears This was the 47th-straight win for Syracuse when it holds its opponents under 10 goals.