first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In Syracuse’s final timeout, John Desko need to draw up something new. Anything, really, other than what the Orange had set up in its previous four game-winners this year.A wrinkle to its usual offensive look, Syracuse stationed senior midfielder Sergio Salcido on the back side. Through two passes, Salcido’s defender rotated to the crease, leaving SU’s midfielder with space. Brad Voigt popped up, turned to his left and fed Salcido, who unleashed the winner from 10 yards away. Teammates sprinted to his side of the field, mobbing the senior who scored his season-high third goal.“I wanted to get the man-up together, calm them down and say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to run,’ and fortunately,” Desko said, “Sergio made the shot.”Salcido punctuated No. 1 Syracuse’s comeback with that goal, top shelf, past UNC goalie Brian Balkam. The goal gave No. 1 Syracuse (10-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) a 12-11 victory over No. 17 North Carolina (6-6, 1-2) Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field. SU responded to a pair of runs — five and four goals — from the Tar Heels and a 21-minute scoreless stretch by exploding for seven goals to UNC’s one in the final 20 minutes, pulling off its biggest comeback yet to claim the ACC regular-season title and win its eighth straight game.Syracuse has one more contest — Binghamton in the Carrier Dome next week — before the ACC tournament kicks off 14 miles down the road, in two weeks. It’s likely the No. 1 seed Orange will play UNC again.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt a packed Fetzer Field, which opened in 1935 and closed on Saturday, the sense that Syracuse could pull off yet another victory permeated on the sidelines, players said. The Orange had erased deficits of at least four goals on three separate occasions this year. And while North Carolina converted on three man-ups, senior attack Luke Goldstock scored three goals and dished out three assists and UNC commanded possession in the second and third quarters, Syracuse knew being down 10-5 was attainable.“We don’t plan to come from behind in these games,” Salcido said. “When it starts happening, we get frustrated. But we believed in ourselves and made up for others.”Leigh Ann Rodgers | Staff PhotographerThe spurt began with 4:43 on the clock in the third, less than a minute after Goldstock sent the place into delirium with his third goal of the day to bump UNC’s lead to five. Nate Solomon worked from the X, a nonchalant drift toward the center of the field. From a low angle, the sophomore attack slid it past Balkam.Goals by Peter Dearth, Nick Mariano and two by Stephen Rehfuss made it 11-10, still in UNC’s favor. Syracuse scored those four goals all in the fourth quarter to UNC’s one to hang around against the defending national champions. Slightly more patience on offense and consistency at the X minimized North Carolina’s possession time and allowed SU to rattle off its goals.Ben Williams dominated down the stretch, winning eight of his last nine attempts in regulation at the X. A subset of SU fans chanted in unison with each offensive ambush, no louder than after SU secured the final faceoff in overtime on a violation, setting up Desko’s timeout and Salcido’s last goal.“Giving Carolina the ball back and to get down like we did,” Desko said, “it wasn’t a comfortable feeling. We had to fight through it the whole second half.”Deep into North Carolina’s third-quarter onslaught, Desko threw his hands to his side. He slumped his head at a dropped pass that, by almost any estimate, seemed to doom the top team in the country and hand it its first loss since Feb. 25.Had redshirt freshman Rehfuss caught the ball, it would have set him up for a wide-open look at the cage. Instead it gave UNC the ball and the Tar Heels its fourth straight goal, bumping the lead to five. But after its two runs, North Carolina scored only once over the last 20 minutes.“We weren’t really used to sliding and they were keeping us in an open set,” said sophomore defender Tyson Bomberry. “Our shorties did a good job of covering them. By changing our slide package, we really shut them down.”The victory showed that SU can be far from perfect and beat a Top 20 team — this win making Syracuse 6-0 against ranked opponents. Riding its best start since 2011, SU knows its identity still rests on the mutual understanding between players that balance will carry this team as far as it can go.“In all of our positions, we want to be the best in the country,” Salcido said. “I think that’s what’s translated so far.” Comments Published on April 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21last_img

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