The Orange (15-3) will face the winner of Sunday’s Denver-North Carolina match in next Saturday’s semifinals in Philadelphia.
Donahue’s goal completed a three-goal rally in the final 3:04 for Syracuse. Yale (12-5) had held the Orange scoreless for more than 43 minutes after surrendering the first four goals of the game.
Yale had a chance to take the lead with 1:21 left, but Syracuse goalie Dominic Lamolinara (nine saves) stuffed Bulldogs midfielder Conrad Oberbeck to secure possession for the Orange.
After a timeout with 55 seconds left, Syracuse midfielder JoJo Marasco patiently waited for an opportunity to develop before finding Donahue a few yards from the goal for the winner.
Syracuse advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2009.
CORNELL 16, OHIO STATE 6
In College Park, Md., Steve Mock scored seven goals and Rob Pannell added two goals and six assists, and unseeded Cornell routed third-seeded Ohio State.
The Big Red (14-3) will face the winner of today’s Duke-Notre Dame match in next Saturday’s semifinals in Philadelphia.
Pannell moved into second on the NCAA’s career points list with 347 points, six shy of former Duke attackman Matt Danowski’s career record of 353.
“Today ranks pretty high up there in games we’ve played together,” Mock said. “It’s a big stage, a quarterfinal game and heading to the Final Four, and we were able to hook up on goals there, and I just love playing with this guy. I can’t say enough about his game.”
Cornell led 6-1 at the end of the first quarter and did not allow the Buckeyes (13-4) to score consecutive goals until after it built a 13-3 lead.
The Big Red won their first two tournament games by a combined 32-14 margin.