Brendan Bomberry has best game in over 2 months in No. 3 Syracuse’s 11-9 win at Colgate
Ally Moreo | Photo Editor
HAMILTON, N.Y. — Brendan Bomberry felt his defender urging, almost begging, for him to roll back. He kept his head up, his eyes surveying the field as he leaned in to his man. He swept left, absorbed a handful of checks, then dished to midfielder Matt Lane. Bomberry found open space on the other side of the cage, worked through a check and flushed home both his and Syracuse’s second straight score to open up the game.
Bomberry didn’t score over the next 33 minutes of game time, but he had Syracuse’s most important goal on Saturday. It quieted an increasingly raucous Colgate sideline that had reeled off a 4-0 run, ended an 11-minute Syracuse scoreless drought that stretched across most of the third quarter and revived an offense on the verge of playing a back-and-forth game with an unranked team three games under .500.
“I tried to exploit my game a little more,” Bomberry said. “I was a little laid back the past couple of games and I really wanted to get into a groove here.”
In its final regular season game, No. 3 Syracuse (12-2, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) escaped with a 11-9 victory Saturday afternoon over unranked Colgate (5-9, 3-5 Patriot) on Crown Field at Andy Kerr Stadium. Bomberry, a junior midfielder, scored three goals — including SU’s first two and the one that sparked a late 4-0 run — as Syracuse tallied its 10th win in its last 11 outings. A day before the NCAA tournament selection show, Bomberry churned out his best performance (team-high four points) since Feb. 25.
It’s the fourth hat trick of the season — his first in a month — for a player with five goals in his last two games. That followed a three-game stretch in mid-April during which Bomberry scored only three goals on nine shots.
“We have someone who can step up, and Brendan did that,” SU goalie Evan Molloy said.
Ally Moreo | Photo Editor
The Orange, which beat the Raiders for the fifth straight year in a matchup that dates back to 1921, plays at home next Sunday night in the NCAA tournament. Bomberry’s last two games indicate that Syracuse’s top threat through the first seven games of 2017 may be heating up.
The junior scored only one combined goal against Binghamton and the regular-season bout at North Carolina. He took only four shots over that 120-plus minute period. His production slowed in recent weeks, largely because he was covered more closely near the crease and less aggressive with the ball.
On Saturday, Bomberry said he grew more aggressive. He shot five times — his highest total since April 11 against Cornell — and dodged with a heightened sense of urgency.
“The way they were sliding,” SU head coach John Desko said, “we had some good looks inside. He’s really nifty at finding space inside, he could have had a couple of more. The goalie robbed him of a couple.”
After facing an early 3-0 deficit, Colgate went on a 7-3 run over the next two quarters and took its first lead of the game, midway through the third. That was quickly erased with back-to-back SU goals, first from Bomberry then by senior midfielder Sergio Salcido.
With Syracuse down one, senior attack Jordan Evans found an open Salcido at the top of the offense. The skip pass created a ripple in the defense, leaving Bomberry open near the crease. Salcido hit Bomberry for his third goal of the day to tie it up. Syracuse scored three more unanswered.
Said Bomberry: “This was a good tune-up game to prepare myself for the playoffs.”
Published on May 6, 2017 at 4:22 pm