Published on May 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+ For the first time in a long time, John Desko emptied his bench.With Randy Staats, Kevin Rice, Dylan Donahue and Chris Daddio — who had each run circles around Colgate for a little less than three quarters — standing together on the sideline, the Syracuse head coach cycled the team’s less familiar faces onto the field.Freshman Joe DeMarco took his first faceoffs since the Orange lost to Duke on March 23, and won both. Jeff Desko and Dylan Maltz scored a goal each. Evan Molloy and Tyler Avallone saw time in the net.And when the final whistle sounded and 13 goals separated SU from the visiting Raiders, the starters lightly jogged onto the field and thanked the reserves for polishing off a game that was over almost as soon as it started.“We haven’t had many games like that this year,” Desko said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 4 Syracuse (11-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) ran by Colgate (9-7, 4-4 Patriot) in an eventual 19-6 win in front of 3,215 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, right after it honored its nine seniors before the game.The Raiders came into the contest with the nation’s ninth best defense and eighth best faceoff specialist, and had surfaced in Inside Lacrosse’s top 20 rankings earlier in the season. They weren’t supposed to be an opponent the Orange rolled over before SU set its sights on the NCAA tournament.But after each of Syracuse’s starting attacks netted a hat trick, Daddio collected 15-of-21 draws and the Orange back line bullied Colgate into nine first-half turnovers, the Raiders became just that.“A lot of times we walk into a game like this with so many distractions, it’s hard to focus,” Desko said. “ … I’m very happy with everyone. I thought we came out and played right from the opening whistle and right through the rest of the game.”Midfielder Hakeem Lecky used his speed to start the scoring just over two minutes in after he dodged down the right alley and ripped a shot past freshman goalie Brandon Burke. Then a flurry of Syracuse goals followed.Rice on the fast break. Staats off a pass from Billy Ward. Lecky, this time from the left alley. Rice again. Henry Schoonmaker after muscling off a defender and placing a shot in the side netting.Colgate extended its pressure to the top of the zone, but Syracuse was able to dodge past and cut behind the Raiders. The Orange pestered Burke with 16 shots in the first quarter and 29 in the first half.“We watched a good amount of film this week and were pretty comfortable with their slide packages,” Rice said. “I thought just overall, everybody was just making the right play at the right time. Not doing too much and just running the offense.”After the Orange’s lead swelled to 10-3 by the half, it was more of the same at the start of the third. Staats netted a goal just over a minute into the frame, Bobby Wardwell — who replaced senior goalie Dominic Lamolinara at the half — snared the first three shots he faced and Daddio won the quarter’s first two faceoffs.Syracuse outscored the Raiders 7-0 in the third, collected 12-of-13 groundballs in the quarter and Burke faced 10 shots without recording a save.“We were unselfishly moving the ball,” attack Derek Maltz said. “If there were hockey assists in lacrosse, I think some of our middies, guys who did a great job of that all day, they would rack them up.”When asked what his team needs to work on heading into the NCAA tournament, Desko wryly responded, “Not much from this game.”Syracuse’s up-and-down season has provided all kinds of games. The Orange has won in overtime, been blown out, come from behind and so on.But not since beating Siena 19-7 in its home opener on Feb. 10 has SU effortlessly handled an inferior opponent. It played Binghamton down to the wire in a 10-8 win on April 2 and needed every bit of a nine-goal effort by Staats and Rice in a comeback win over Hobart on April 19.Colgate didn’t stand that kind of chance. And with NCAA tournament seeding being announced Sunday night, Syracuse may have flexed its muscles at the perfect time. Comments
Linebackers work on staying low and other defensive observations from Syracuse’s practice in the Carrier Dome
Desko says Galasso sidelined with upper-body injury
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.