Syracuse opened its 2014 campaign with a 19-7 rout of Siena. Here is a quick take on the game:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange flexed its offensive muscles in its home opener, as it scored on its first three possessions and closed the half on a 6-1 run to take a commanding 13-4 lead at intermission. Attackman Dylan Donahue scored eight times, one short of tying a Syracuse single-game record, going on a personal 4-0 run to start the second half. Three of those four goals were assisted by Donahue’s sidekick, Kevin Rice, who finished with eight assists, which was also one short of an SU single-game record. That duo would hook up six times on the evening, quickly quashing any notion of an upset after Albany upended the Orange to start the 2013 season.
WHAT IT MEANS: We all knew that Syracuse would have a high-octane offense and a solid defense heading into this season. The main question was SU’s ability to win faceoffs. The Orange won a paltry 42 percent at the X in 2013, and that issue was even more glaring during the Orange’s 16-10 loss to Duke in the NCAA title game when SU lost 21-of-30 faceoffs. Head coach John Desko made it one of the top offseason priorities, and it showed on Monday. Chris Daddio and Mike Iacono combined to win 15 of 28 overall, including 12 of 18 in the first half.
STAR GAZING: Well, this was an easy choice. The tandem of Donahue and Rice were prolific throughout the game, and could’ve tied or set records had Desko not emptied his bench late in the second half. Credit also has to go to Daddio, who won 10-of-17 (.588) faceoffs and picked up six ground balls.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will take on Albany on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: TWCS.