Syracuse managed to edge past Albany in another terrific back and forth game. The Orange won 17-16 win in overtime yesterday afternoon. They are now 11-1 all-time against the Great Danes. That one loss came from last year’s devastating 16-15 double overtime struggle. With about 90% of Albany’s team returning this year it was set to be an interesting game.
“It was much like the last game. We knew we were facing a talented offensive team and tried to get as many possessions as we could on faceoffs. We were able to accomplish that today,” said Syracuse head coach John Desko.
They dominated on faceoffs winning 24 out of 36. But, 17 turnovers made it difficult for the Orange to get things moving through out the game. They started each quarter out strong then began to lag, leaving room for Albany to continuously respond with goals.
By the second quarter Syracuse was losing momentum and let Albany slide by them numerous times. Fortunately, Randy Staats helped bring Syracuse morale back up by closing the first half to tie the score 9-9.
Staats finished the game with five goals and two assists. He may have pushed himself a little extra knowing he was playing against former teammates, the Albany power attack trio Lyle, Miles and cousin Ty Thompson. The trio was relentless and combined for 14 points.
The second half also brought goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell to the net, replacing Dominic Lamolinara.
“It’s nice to split time with Dom and the defense did a great job it was great to be back out there after what Albany did to us last year,” said Wardwell.
Wardwell faced difficulties as the second half went on and was letting more and more goals in. Once again it was tied 16-16 as the game was coming to a close. Syracuse’s Hakeem Lecky had the ball in the last few seconds with the chance to win the game, but could not get a good look.
Luckily, seconds into overtime Henry Schoonmaker took control and scored the game-winning goal.
“I was surprised it happened and then I was just running for my life for my teammates, that might have been the most tired I have ever been. It was a good feeling though,” said Schoonmaker.
The goal was a typical Syracuse move that has won games in the past. It starts with a midfielder at the top and then in sneaks another one by the goal to seal the deal.
“I knew this could come down to who had the ball last and fortunately we had the ball last and we were able to put it away with the little play we had set away,” said Desko.