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Syracuse reaches lacrosse semis; Cornell ousts Princeton
Posted 5/16/2009 7:25 PM ET
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse is headed back to a place it knows well — the NCAA men's lacrosse semifinals. The defending national champion just needed a little help from a backup goalie to get there.

Al Cavalieri found out about three minutes before Saturday's quarterfinal against Maryland that he would be making the first start of his collegiate career because first-string goalie John Galloway had the flu.

The junior came through with 14 saves, and Kenny Nims, Stephen Keogh and Dan Hardy scored two goals apiece to power the second-seeded Orange to an 11-6 victory over the unseeded Terrapins at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.

"We worked so hard for this," said Cavalieri, who had appeared in five games this season. "Everyone is always ready on a team no matter if they're a starter or a backup.

"I just got an opportunity. Having the team behind me and having the team that we have, we got through it and we got back to the Final Four."

Syracuse (14-2) will play in the semifinals next Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. They will take on the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal in Annapolis, Md., between No. 3 Duke and No. 6 North Carolina.

Syracuse, a 10-time national champion, extended its quarterfinal winning streak to 25 games and improved to 26-2 in quarterfinals.

The Orange were up 3-0 after one quarter thanks to goals by Nims, Josh Amidon and Hardy, as well as five saves by Cavalieri.

Maryland (10-7), which got two goals each from Grant Catalino and Jeremy Sieverts, lost starting goalie Brian Phipps to a torn left ACL with 1:02 left in the opening quarter. Phipps' replacement, Jason Carter, surrendered the goal to Hardy on the first shot he faced.

After Syracuse extended its edge to 4-0, the Terrapins scored three of the next four goals to get within 5-3 at halftime. They were down just 6-4 with four minutes to go in the third quarter, but then Pat Perritt dodged a defender before beating Carter from the right doorstep. That started a run of three straight Orange goals to close the quarter and break open the game.

"We had some opportunities early to score," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "I give the goalie some credit. He made some good saves. We just couldn't keep up scoring with them."

Rocco Romero scored twice and Rob Pannell had three assists for Cornell in the quarterfinal at the Hofstra campus.

Cornell 6, Princeton 4:  Cornell reached the semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.

Cornell will next play May 23 in Foxborough, Mass., against the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal in Annapolis, Md., between Virginia and Johns Hopkins.

Cornell jumped ahead 5-1 at halftime and improved its record to 12-3. Tommy Davis and Chris McBride scored to draw Princeton within two goals entering the last quarter. Princeton, the Ivy League co-champion, finished at 13-3.

This was the 70th lacrosse meeting between Cornell and Princeton but the first in NCAA tournament play.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted 5/16/2009 7:25 PM ET