Today at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the second-seeded Syracuse Orange had all the P's of lacrosse working at full tilt. Precision passing, poise, patience, and most importantly, Pat Perritt, propelled Syracuse (15-2) to an easy 17-7 win over the third-seeded Duke Blue Devils (15-4).
Duke's nine-game winning streak ended with a resounding thud as Syracuse's midfielders outscored Duke's, 7-1.
The 10-goal victory represents the largest margin of victory in a NCAA semifinal since Johns Hopkins creamed Syracuse 19-8 in 2003.
For Syracuse, seniors Perritt and Kenny Nims matched one another with each tallying four goals and one assist. Too much ball watching by Duke's defense led many of those 17 goals to be scored right in front of the cage.
Syracuse got on the scoreboard first when Chris Daniello blew by midfielder Steve Schoeffel and riffled a shot past Rob Schroeder at the 13:08 mark in the first quarter. The Orange made it 2-0 about six minutes later on a long stick goal by Joel White.
Duke tied the score at two when Zach Howell scored two consecutive goals, Ned Crotty assisting on both.
The first goal of the game by Perritt with 35 seconds left in the first put Syracuse up 3-2. Syracuse took over momentum when Kenny Nims scored on a diving shot as time expired in the quarter.
Two goals by Cody Jamieson and two more goals by Perritt highlighted the second quarter as Syracuse outscored Duke 4-2 in the quarter, taking a 8-4 lead into halftime.
It was obvious Duke entered the third quarter deflated and undisciplined as Jake Moulton, a transfer from Navy, won the face-off and scored without passing the ball in seven seconds.
Duke responded with Zach Howell's third goal of the game to make the score 9-5. Perritt contined his great play by assisting of a goal by Dan Hardy with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Duke regained a glimmer of hope when Max Quinzani scored his second goal of the game and 45th of the season to decrease Syracuse's lead to 10-6. Unfortunately for Duke, the glimmer dimmed quickly as the Orange scored the last four goals of the quarter.
Chippy play and penalties dominated the fourth quarter. Duke players seemed more interested in slashing than scoring when the game became out of reach.
Quinzani did get his third goal of the game in the quarter, but the highlight of the fourth was two man-up goals by Tim Desko, the coach's son.
Syracuse advances to the NCAA Championship game for the 16th time and will take on the Big Red of Cornell on Monday.