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NCAA lacrosse blog: Syracuse storms back to win, faces Duke in final

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Tyler Tynes live blogs the NCAA lacrosse tournaments in Philadelphia.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Derek Maltz scored with 20 seconds remaining in the second half as Syracuse defeated Denver, 9-8, in the second NCAA Division I men's lacrosse semifinal at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Orange will play Duke in Monday's 1 p.m. national championship game at the Linc (ESPN).

Trailing 7-4 with under 11 minutes to go, Syracuse put together a 4-1 run to tie the score at 8-8 with just 59 seconds left. They won it 39 seconds later.

Denver races to halftime lead

Sophomore Eric Adamson scored two goals as Denver raced to a 5-2 halftime lead over Syracuse in the second NCAA Division I men's lacrosse semifinal Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The winner will play Duke on Monday at 1 p.m. for the national championship.

Early on Denver balanced its scoring attack between multiple players, with four players accounting for the first-half scoring.

But the key player was sophomore goalie Ryan LaPlante, who faced 14 shots and saved 12 for a .857 save percentage.

The Orange need to change how fast their defense responds to the slashes from the wing attacks of Denver's offense.

Duke beats Cornell in first semifinal

When the Duke Blue Devils saw themselves in a hole in the middle of the first half on Friday at Lincoln Financial Field, they immediately changed their game plan. Between sending slashes at the cage and improving the rotation on the defensive end, the odds seemed to tip in their favor.

Junior attack Jordan Wolf also started to get involved and then the shots subsequently began to land in the back of the net as part of game-deciding 12-1 run.

Duke went on to defeat Cornell, 16-14, in the first NCAA Division I men's lacrosse semifinal Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Blue Devils will play the winner of the second semifinal between Syracuse and Denver, in the national championship game Monday, 1 p.m. at the Linc.

Wolf finished with four goals and an assist, and Jake senior midfielder Jake Tripukca added three goals and an assist.

The Big Red's Tewaaraton Trophy (nation's top player) finalist, Rob Pannell, didn't go down easily, however. He finished with five goals and two assists, with 20 shots on goal. Pannell became the all-time leader in NCAA history in points, with 354. His last goal came following a Cornell scoreless drought that lasted more than 15 minutes through the end of the first half into the end of the third quarter.

Cornell trailed 14-7 entering the fourth quarter but went on a 6-0 run to make it close.

Duke takes halftime lead over Cornell

In an exciting back and forth game at Lincoln Financial Field, Duke took its first lead late in the second quarter and continues to lead into halftime, 7-6 in the first NCAA Division I men's soccer semifinal at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.

The game, showcasing two of the best offenses in the nation - Cornell with the 2d best and Duke with the 3d - has not disappointed the packed house in South Philadelphia.

The Blue Devils kept a 3-0 run going strong in the middle of the 2d quarter to launch a comeback against the Big Red defense. Even though Cornell was leading in multiple categories on the stat sheet at the end of the first half, Duke responded with the attacking of junior Jordan Wolf and the ball-movement of freshman Case Matheis.

For an improvement in the second half, Cornell needs to be stronger in the cage to contain the strong attacking of the Blue Devils.

Cornell takes on Duke

The unseeded Cornell Big Red are making another NCAA Tournament appearance as they prepare for the ferocious Duke Blue Devils as the clash at Lincoln Financial Field.

Cornell will be paced by their Tewaaraton Trophy Finalist, Rob Pannell, and also Steve Mock who lead the team with 59 goals and 53 assists respectively. Pannell is the all-time assist leader in Cornell history and ranks second in Ivy League History, needing four more to top the record.

The Blue Devils are led by local prospect, junior attack Jordan Wolf. Wolf, just like Pannell, is also one of the NCAA's leaders in assists, so the flow of the game for both teams will be focused around ball movement towards the cage.

Duke also uses a very balanced attack with six players averaging over two points per contests and they host one of the NCAA's best offenses being second assists per game and third in points. However, the Blue Devils are 2-0 against the Big Red in the NCAA Tournament with wins dating back to 2007 and 2005.

Both teams will have to focus their efforts defensively to slow down the progress of two of the best offenses in the nation. The spotlight will be focused on the attack of Pannell and Wolf. Whichever attacker has the better game, that will mirror the efforts of the team.