first_imgPHILADELPHIA — Two minutes and 20 seconds were all that separated Syracuse’s seniors from heartbreaking disappointment, from going down in history as one of the Orange’s few failures.Two minutes and 20 seconds stood between SU and yet another shortcoming in the NCAA tournament. With 2:20 remaining in No. 1-seed Syracuse’s quarterfinal game against Yale, the Orange stared down elimination. A loss, and SU’s seniors would be the first class since 1979 to never reach the final four.Then Luke Cometti broke through. The midfielder’s goal knotted the score at six. Then Dylan Donahue scored with 13 seconds remaining. Syracuse headed to the final four.“All year we knew we were going to be a great team,” said SU midfielder JoJo Marasco, who assisted on each of the Orange’s last two goals against the Bulldogs. “Our goal was to get here, we finally got here, and we have one more goal left and that’s to win a championship.”Marasco, Cometti and the rest of Syracuse’s senior class narrowly avoided a fourth straight disappointing season finale to reach the Orange’s first final four since 2009. SU will face No. 4-seed Denver in the second semifinal game on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs the final seconds crept away on Syracuse’s win over Yale, sheer jubilation overcame the Orange’s seniors. All the disappointing endings of the past three seasons seemed to vanish. It was time to rejoice.“It’s amazing. It’s a tremendous feeling,” SU defender Brian Megill said. “Now it’s time to celebrate. We’ve put in all the work, now it’s time to just go out and play and have fun.”No group of seniors has left Syracuse without a national title since 1999, John Desko’s first season as head coach. As always, the goal is to win the last game and send this group home with a ring. Playing on Memorial Day weekend, though, is an achievement in itself.“It’s a great treat for our seniors,” Desko said. “One of their goals was to get back to the final four and have a shot at a national championship, so it’s a great feeling to keep playing this time of year.”Marasco has been to plenty of final fours before. As he stands at midfield on the Lincoln Financial Field grass, he points to a section of seats, right around the 50-yard line. He tries to get to the final four every year and seven years ago he sat in those very bleachers and watched Virginia claim the 2006 national championship.Of course, it’s a different feeling now. All those times watching the best play on college lacrosse’s final weekend only fueled Marasco’s desire. Seven years after he watched what he believes to be one of the sport’s all-time dominant teams win a title, he and his team have a chance to join that elite company.“I’ve had a goal here since I came here as a freshman, it was to play in a final four,” Marasco said, “so now that it’s finally here it’s a great task and a great memory.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Syracuse, Denver coaches swap traditional styles of play, prepare to meet in final four Q&A with Syracuse legend Casey Powellcenter_img Published on May 24, 2013 at 1:00 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2last_img read more