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Irish crush the Orange

Nov 5, 2012, 2:34 PM EDT

Syracuse 2 – Notre Dame 4

What a fantastic game tonight in Syracuse, N.Y. It was cold and damp, but for the 1,675 spectators who turned up they were treated to one of the most exciting matches of the season so far. Fifteen minutes into the game Syracuse went ahead on a well-taken transition goal. They continued to menace the Irish defense with their counter attacks and Notre Dame never really settled into a rhythm until late in the first half. Things looked even bleaker for the Irish at the beginning of the second half when the Orangemen went further ahead in the 49th minute. 2-0 down on the road is not a good place to be, but Notre Dame rolled up its sleeves and really took it to Syracuse. It seemed like constant bombardment of the Syracuse goal but [Alex] Bono, in the Syracuse net, stood tall and made some outstanding saves.

At last a break through in the 63rd minute. It was a brilliant piece of individual play from Patrick Hodan. He weaved his way past a couple of defenders before curling a beautiful left footed shot into the net. Less than a minute later he was at it again. This time Patrick picked up a pass from Luke Mishu, drove toward goal, drew the Syracuse defense before dishing it off for Kyle Richard to hammer home and tie the game.

Things remained this way until the 77th minute and again it was Patrick Hodan who got his name on the score sheet. This time the leg work was done by Ryan Finley. Ryan wriggled his way past a couple of defenders before squaring to Patrick who had an easy tap in. Now a goal down, Syracuse threw everything into attack but the Irish were not done. Harry Shipp found Ryan Finley and Ryan slotted home the fourth goal to wrap up the game for the Irish and send them into the Big East final four next weekend.

It truly was a roller coaster of a game. Notre Dame showed tremendous character in how it stormed back after being two goals behind, and also displayed excellent composure as it went about salvaging the situation. The score was fair as Notre Dame held the shot advantage (21-12) and the save difference (3-7). This means that Notre Dame joins Georgetown, 2-1 winners over St John’s, and Marquette, 2-1 winners over Louisville, in the BIG EAST semifinals. UConn plays Villanova tomorrow for the fourth and final slot. If the Huskies win then it would mean that all four teams come from the Blue Division!

Go Irish!

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