Though the final score of 15-3 may not have showed it, Syracuse goalie Dom Madonna had a strong showing against Albany on Saturday.
Madonna, under duress all afternoon from 26 Albany shots, stopped 11 of them, including nine in the first half.
It allowed SU to remain within striking distance at halftime, with the Orange trailing 4-1.
“I thought he was terrific for us,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “It could’ve been different if he didn’t play as well as he did.”
Hard to imagine the “different” score if it hadn’t been for Madonna’s outing.
“All in all, I thought that defensively, we didn’t do a bad job,” Desko said. “For the amount of possessions they had and time they had the ball, that’s a tremendous amount of pressure on our defense.”
Albany’s defense was strong as well, backed by goalie JD Colarusso, who notched ten saves on the day.
“We were behind and we felt like we had to catch up, and you can’t do that against a seasoned defense like this,” Desko said.
That seasoned defense has been paired with a potent offense led by the No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class, Tehoka Nanticoke.
He was unstoppable in every way in his collegiate debut with five goals.
Nanticoke was matched up with Syracuse’s Tyson Bomberry, who struggled to contain him.
“[Nanticoke is] a big boy,” Bomberry said. “His ability with his stick is really good. When you combine that with how big his body is, it’s really hard to control. You can’t really pick a side and force him to it because he’s so strong.”
While pressure and expectations for Nanticoke have mounted high, he certainly lived up to the hype in his first game.
“When he (Tehoka) gets above the line extended, he’s tough,” Desko said. “That was an awful lot for Tyson to defend.”