Syracuse stormed out of the gate early in the first quarter en route to a 16-7 victory over in-state rival Albany Sunday afternoon in the Carrier Dome.
The Orange came into Sunday’s game without graduate transfer attackman Nick Piroli, who head coach John Desko said would be week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Senior Tim Barber took his place, as he spent some time at attack last season when Randy Staats was injured. Barber had a goal on four shots on the day, which was cut short near the end of the first half, when he got hit by an Albany defenseman. Desko said that he expects Barber to be back soon, but it’s not sure whether or not he has a concussion.
Freshman Devin Shewell started in his place in the third quarter and finished with two goals on six shots along with two ground balls. Redshirt sophomore Matt Lane was bumped up from the second midfield unit to the first and capitalized with two goals and two assists on five shots.
Senior Derek DeJoe scored a hat-trick on Albany goalie Blaze Riorden, both of whom are close friends with each other, and junior transfer Nick Mariano also had a hat-trick along with an assist on a team-high eight shots.
The Orange scored five of the first six goals before cooling down in the second quarter, although they were up 7-4. Syracuse outscored Albany 9-3 in the second half, including a 4-0 run that began late in the third quarter that helped the Orange pull away. Syracuse outshot Albany 59-25 in the game, including 21-3 in the first quarter and 17-6 in the second quarter. That’s the most amount of shots since 1997, when the Orange recorded 72 shots on Hobart.
Junior FOGO Ben Williams was dominant at the faceoff “x”, going 17-for-24 on the day, including going eight-for-eight in the opening quarter and 11 straight to open up the game. Senior goalie Warren Hill made five saves on 25 shots.
On the other end, Albany hung with the Orange for most of the game, led by two goals each from sophomore Justin Reh and junior Bennett Drake. John Maloney and Seth Oakes each had a goal, while Connor Fields had two assists in the Great Danes’ first game without Lyle Thompson.
Unlike last season, the Orange are suffering from the injury bug early to some of their important players. Last year, the team did start without Evans, who was on the second midfield for the majority of last season behind a stacked first midfield unit, but that was it in regards to notable players. Two games into this season, the Orange have seen injuries to a starting attackman and a starting midfielder. Syracuse can’t afford to have another injury occur, even if Barber returns in time for Sunday’s home game against Army. As for the Great Danes, they will host Drexel on Saturday.