Even with starting attack Nick Piroli sidelined due to a lower-body injury, No. 6 Syracuse found answers for his absence in a 16-7 rout of No. 12 Albany.
Midfielder Tim Barber moved up to attack to replace the injured Piroli but was hurt at the end of the first half and did not return.
“We’ll see after we talk to the doctors,” Desko said. “Whether we’re getting him back for next game, I’m not sure yet.”
Desko wasn’t as positive with Piroli’s status.
“I’m not sure when he’s going to come back. We expect him back this season, but that’s going to be a week-by-week situation.”
Syracuse controlled the pace early and capitalized off of Albany’s slow start. Goals from Jordan Evans, Tim Barber, Derek DeJoe, Matt Lane, and Nick Mariano left the Orange with a 5-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Syracuse went into the half up 7-4, with the Orange dominating in shots, 38-9.
“As coaches we went into halftime disappointed that there wasn’t a bigger margin with the amount of time we had the ball on offense and the lack of time they (Albany) had,” Desko said.
Syracuse’s offense exhibited more poise in the second half, with freshman Devin Shewell starting things off in the third with a quick goal from a beautiful pass by Dylan Donahue (one goal, four assists). The Orange would go on to score four more in the third to stay on top of Albany, 12-6 at the end of the quarter.
“I thought (Shewell) fit in very well,” Desko said. “When Barber went down, we were able to put him out there. If he’s finding the back of the net as a freshman, that’s a good thing.”
The Orange continued to apply pressure throughout the fourth quarter. They would notch four more goals as opposed to Albany’s one to end the game with a final of 16-7. In the end, nine different players scored for SU.
“That’s what we’d like to be standard,” Desko said. “It’s how we like to play. We don’t want to give the ball to one person all the time; if they get stopped, then our team stops and our offense stops. It was good to see these guys step up and put the ball in the back of the net.”
Standout Ben Williams had another successful day at the X. For the tenth time at Syracuse, he won eight straight face-offs, tying the second longest streak of his career (had 15 in a row last year against Albany). He finished the day 17-24.
“It’s such a specialized position,” Albany head coach Scott Marr said. “He’s really good.”