Fresh off an ACC Championship win against rival Duke, No. 5 Syracuse (11-4) completely dominated against Colgate (4-11) on Senior Day in its last game before the NCAA Tournament.
Awaiting seeding and an opponent in the first round, which will be announced Sunday night, the Orange had no problem with fluidity and efficiency in Saturday’s game with an 18-3 rout of the Raiders.
“I think it went as well as it could have for us today,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said.
“There’s a reason why they’re going to the NCAA Tournament,” Colgate head coach Mike Murphy said. “And we’re going home to put our stuff away.”
Things started off slow for both sides, although Syracuse maintained control early. Goals from Joe Gillis, Nick Mariano, Nick Weston and Dylan Donahue resulted in a 4-0 Orange lead at the end of the first.
Heading into half, Syracuse had a 7-1 lead and outshot Colgate 26-13. Desko already had some subs in at that point, and he continued to add more throughout the third and fourth quarters.
“It was great to get them in,” Desko said. “They’ve been working hard all year eventhough they haven’t played much.”
Many non-frequent seniors got the nod as well in their last collegiate regular season game. Dylan Donahue notched his fourth goal of the afternoon for the Orange midway through the third to extend the lead to 11-1.
Colgate planned on crowding Donahue throughout the game to make him force shots, but he proved to be too powerful for their defense.
“He sees everything really well,” Murphy said. “He’s a do-it-all attack man. He was feeling it today.”
Soon after Donahue’s goal, Warren Hill replaced Evan Molloy in net.
“Molloy gives us an added threat defensively,” Desko said. “I’m glad I made the decision to go with him. It’s worked out really well.”
That decision came after a long period of Molloy and Hill battling for the starting position in the fall, but Molloy has taken advantage of Desko’s choice to have him as the frontrunner.
“I’ve become more patient. I think that comes from my experience. I’m letting the game come to me and I’ve been making the stops,” Molloy said.
But his success is nothing without his defense.
“They’re playing out of their minds,” Molloy said. “It’s beautiful to watch. I owe everything to them.”