FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Defending champion Syracuse is back in the NCAA lacrosse title game.

The second-seeded Orange defeated third-seeded Duke 17-7 in a Division I semifinal Saturday. Syracuse (15-2) is seeking its 11th national title and will play in Monday’s final against Cornell. Fifth-seeded Cornell stunned top-seeded Virginia 15-6. Cornell won the first NCAA Division I title in 1971 and followed it up with wins in 1976 and 1977.

Syracuse beat Cornell 15-10 earlier this season and the teams met for the NCAA title in 1988, with the Orange winning 13-8.

Kenny Nims and Patrick Perritt each had four goals for Syracuse on Saturday. Cody Jamieson added two goals, giving him six for the tournament, and freshman Tim Desko also had two. Nine players scored for Syracuse.

“I’m very happy with how we played today,” Syracuse coach John Desko said. “We got some saves from our goaltender, especially early, so that was a very good defensive effort. And offensively we were able to score in settled and unsettled situations.”

Max Quinzani and Zach Howell had three goals apiece for the Blue Devils (15-4), who have never won an NCAA title.

This was the fifth time Syracuse has beaten Duke in six meetings. The Orange are 3-0 against the Blue Devils in NCAA play.

Chris Daniello and Joel White scored unassisted to make it 2-0 for Syracuse in the first quarter. Duke responded with two goals from Howell, both on passes from Ned Crotty, to tie it. But Perritt sent a shot by Duke goalie Rob Schroeder on the short side and Nims beat Schroeder unassisted with a second left in the first quarter to make it 4-2.

Syracuse goalie John Galloway, who missed the quarterfinal win over Maryland because of illness, made big saves in the second quarter. Perritt scored twice as Syracuse extended its lead to 8-4 at the half.

“Coach said during the week just try to place the ball, shoot it overhand and put it to the far corners and that’s what I tried to do and it worked,” Perritt said.

Jake Moulton scored his second goal of the season seven seconds into the third quarter with a quick rush after the faceoff. Howell’s third goal brought Duke within 9-5, but Perritt fired a cross-field pass to Hardy, who made it 10-5.

Quinzani’s 45th goal of the year closed it to 10-6 midway through third quarter, but Nims scored twice and Stephen Keogh and Perritt added goals to stretch the lead to 14-6 after three quarters.

“They made some tremendous looks and plays,” Duke coach John Danowski said. “If we left someone open, the ball was in his stick and out quickly.”

Virginia had beaten Cornell 14-10 in March, but the Big Red, led by Rob Pannell’s three goals and three assists, Ryan Hurley’s three goals and an assist, and Chris Finn’s three goals, paced the win Saturday.

Cornell jumped on Virginia early, with Finn scoring off a nifty pass from Hurley. Cornell’s Jonathan Thompson scooped up a loose ball in front of the goal and fired it past Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman for a 2-0 lead. Hurley’s 42nd goal of the season with a man advantage made it 3-0 just five minutes into the game.

Danny Glading opened the scoring for Virginia with an unassisted goal but Pannell’s first goal made it 4-1 The Big Red stretched it to 6-1 when Rocco Romero scored the first of his two goals and then found Hurley with a pass on the doorstep of the goal.

In a stretch spanning the first and second quarters, Cornell held the Cavaliers, who averaged more than 13 goals a game this year, scoreless for 17 minutes.

Shamel Bratton broke the drought for Virginia in the second quarter, but Pannell’s second goal of the game and Finn’s second from Pannell boosted the Cornell lead to 8-2 at the half.

Steele Stanwick scored twice for Virginia in the third quarter, but the Big Red continued to roll, extending the lead to 11-4 after three quarters and then cruising to victory.

Glading also had two goals for Virginia. Cornell midfielder Max Siebald added a goal and an assist in the fourth quarter.

AP-ES-05-23-09 1818EDT


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