A quick take on Syracuse’s 13-11 win over St. John’s at the Independence Classic in Chester, Pa.:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange won its Big East opener against St. John’s in a back-and-forth affair that saw each team go on major runs. SU took an early 4-1 lead but the Red Storm reeled off three unanswered goals. The teams would continue to trade goals and runs until the final quarter with the score at 10-10 with 13:30 left. From there, the Syracuse defense clamped down and held the Red Storm to a single goal while scoring three of their own.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Storm’s Kieran McArdle, the Big East’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, scored six points on four goals and two assists, and was clearly at the center of the St. John’s attack. While he certainly was able to get his shots, the Orange took a different philosophy on Saturday. The Orange had production from all across the board, as SU’s midfielders (JoJo Marasco, Luke Cometti and Scott Loy) combined for 10 points.
Aside from stellar midfield play, SU received balanced scoring from Derek Maltz (three goals for his first career hat trick) and Kevin Rice (one goal and three assists). Sharing the ball and balanced attack allowed the Orange to outshoot St. John’s 47-32 while junior facebook specialist Chris Daddio won four faceoffs in the final stanza to help Syracuse pull away from the Red Storm. The two teams finished tied at 13 at the X.
More importantly, Syracuse has reeled off three straight wins since losing its opener to Albany on Feb. 17 and extended its unbeaten streak against St. John’s to seven games.
STAR GAZING: Who else but No. 22, JoJo Marasco? He won Whitman Sampler Player of the Game honors, leading Syracuse with five points, and was instrumental in SU’s hot start.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse plays Johns Hopkins on Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: ESPNU.