Redshirt senior attackman Dylan Donahue scored four goals and added five assists, a career best, as Syracuse dominated Siena in its 2016 season opener, 18-5.
Syracuse scored the first 10 goals of the game, with four of them coming from Donahue. His offensive outburst will become more of a common theme this season, with Donahue assuming a distributing role this season that was held by Kevin Rice last year.
“We are very comfortable with Dylan [in this new role],” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “The best thing he is doing with all those other guys gone, is he is leading this offense and directing things on the field.”
That was particularly evident in the box score, with 10 different players scoring a goal. Tim Barber chipped in two goals and three assists, while Jordan Evans and Nick Piroli each scored twice.
“With the way we play offense,” Donahue said, “you never know who will put the ball in the net.”
Well, that’s not entirely true, because opposing teams know that Donahue will be SU’s top threat.
Donahue enters this 2016 season with the second-longest active goal-scoring streak in the nation. He has led the Orange in goals with 37 in 2014 and 50 in 2015.
“I felt comfortable,” Donahue said. “In practice all week we take turns playing different positions and it felt good to play again.”
Still, despite the lopsided win, Syracuse can still improve in several areas.
SU gave up 18 turnovers in this game, not uncommon for a game this time of the year.
The Orange also was hesitant getting out in transition, despite Desko encouraging his team to take advantage of the opportunities.
“We were kind of slow off the ball,” Desko said. “We’d like to pick things up.”
That will change for the better as time goes on, with its redshirt senior leading the way.
“As a fifth year senior you have to lead out there by example,” he said.
And that is exactly what he did today.