Neither John Desko, nor anyone with the Syracuse University men's lacrosse team, imagined the nightmare scenario that unfolded last Sunday night in the Carrier Dome.
The Orange, two-time defending national champions, suffered a premature departure from the NCAA Tournament, thanks to the 10-5 Army Black Knights. Army won its last seven games and punched their ticket into the tournament by defeating Navy in overtime to capture the Patriot League championship.
In front of 5,145 astonished spectators, Army took no. 1 SU to double overtime, then beat them 9-8. '
The monumental collapse occurred when Skaneateles graduate Devin Lynch, who was near the crease, took a feed from Baldwinsville's Jeremy Boltus. From eight yards out, Lynch beat another local product, John Galloway (West Genesee), for the winning goal with 5.7 seconds left in the second OT.
"That was amazing," said Boltus, who also scored the tying goal in regulation and leads Army in points.
"It is the best feeling ever," Lynch said.
In bouncing the Orange out of the NCAA Tournament, the Black Knights ended a long drought.The last time Army won an NCAA game was in 1993.
The feeling was not mutual for SU's, players who were demoralized. Prior to this, it had an 8-0 record in postseason play, since they lost to Virginia in 2006. The Orange were 45-5 overall since the start of 2008 as they won 11 consecutive games heading into the 2010 tournament.
In 30 trips to the NCAAs, it marked only the second time SU had lost in the Carrier Dome, the other coming to North Carolina back in 1991.
Both defenses were excellent throughout the contest. Down the stretch, though, SU's offense was listless, allowing Army to outscore them 5-2 and catch up. It didn't help that SU, ranked sixth in the country in face-off percentage, found itself dominated by the Black Knights.