No. 12 Syracuse’s patience pays with Tucker Dordevic’s game winner against No. 4 Virginia, 12-11

first_img Published on March 4, 2018 at 5:29 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+ UPDATED: March 4, 2018 at 10:51 p.m.CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Syracuse’s play didn’t work. Instead of forcing the shot, the SU attack spun the ball around the perimeter once more. When Tucker Dordevic received the ball with less than 20 seconds remaining, the Orange had waited long enough.Dordevic gathered himself at the top of the Virginia defense. The freshman midfielder faked a move left to the inside and rolled back to his right. A few steps out of his move, he launched his career-high fourth goal of the game, sealing the game for SU.“We had run a play,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said, “and we knew coming out of the play we didn’t want to force it and take it because there was still a lot of time left on the clock. So the guys showed some composure.”Dordevic’s final goal, the game-winner, emulated the offensive patience which launched No. 12 Syracuse (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) past No. 4 Virginia (4-1, 0-1), 12-11, at Klockner Stadium on Sunday. After lacking offensive consistency over its last two games, the Orange committed just eight turnovers and fired 43 shots, 13 more than its opponent. In weeks past, Syracuse struggled to possess the ball. Against UVA it drew five stall warnings. In a game where Syracuse’s offensive production sped up, its working rate slowed down.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We didn’t know how much we were going to have the ball on offense,” Desko said. “So when we did have it, we had to be efficient when we had the ball.”Kevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorTwo weeks ago against Albany, Syracuse struggled to retain possession. It lost 17 of the 22 draws to Albany faceoff guru TD Ierlan and held the ball for around 90 seconds in the third quarter. Against UVA, and the seventh-ranked faceoff specialist Justin Schwenk, SU controlled play with its offense.In the first half, Syracuse held the ball for extended time on several possessions, waiting for the right opportunity. During one of the Orange’s three first-half stall warnings, Brendan Bomberry held the ball at the top right of the restraining box. With the shot clock dwindling, the senior dished the ball to a streaking Bradley Voigt, who flicked an underhand shot in for a goal.Eight minutes and another stall warning passed before SU scored again. As Dordevic drove to the left side, the defenders knew what was coming. Players called it out from the sideline, Dordevic said. Still, it didn’t matter. The Oregon native spun back to his right and cranked a goal.Fifty-five seconds into the second half, Dordevic struck again. This time he caught a cross-field pass from Stephen Rehfuss and loaded his stick down low to the ground. The shot skimmed the ground past UVA goalkeeper Alex Rode.“I was just feeling it the whole day,” Dordevic said. “I wasn’t too pleased with the last three games and how I played. So I just thought I had to step up.”One of the games Dordevic mentioned he wasn’t happy with was a 15-3 loss to Albany. After the historically bad loss, which included Syracuse’s lowest offensive output under Desko, sophomore midfielder Jamie Trimboli said the offense needed to be better. He said with the lack of possession in the game, his team had rushed to produce offensively.“We just didn’t play smart ball,” Trimboli said on Feb. 22. “Some guys, including myself, were taking some stuff out of frustration that we don’t usually do.”Against UVA, he and the rest of the offense took a different approach. In the fourth quarter, Dordevic scooped the ball up off a Virginia turnover. When the freshman turned around toward the rest of his offense, they all provided a similar message.Nearly in unison, Trimboli, Rehfuss and Nate Solomon all raised their hands and waved them down, telling their offense to calm down. It didn’t need to rush. When the ball made its way to Trimboli on the left side of the cage more than a minute later, the midfielder finished with his left hand, pushing Syracuse’s lead to four.Then UVA stormed back, scoring four goals in 10 minutes. With the game tied and less than a minute remaining, SU midfielder David Lipka scooped the ball and flushed in a goal while the whistle blew. The goal didn’t count. Desko had called timeout.During that timeout, while the Orange drew up a play that didn’t work, UVA head coach Lars Tiffany discussed matchups with his defense. He knew who would cover the potent Orange attackers of Trimboli, Rehfuss and Solomon. But there was one SU threat left out.“It was like ugh, who’s got Tucker,” Tiffany said of the meeting. “Who’s going to guard this guy, he’s got really good speed.”Tiffany was right. SU’s top point-scorers weren’t open on the first play. So, Syracuse waited and patience paid off, leading to the Dordevic game-winner. Commentslast_img