Orange finish strong to hold off Bearcats

After a lackluster first half, No. 8 Syracuse controlled the game in a 10-8 win over Binghamton.

When the Bearcats boarded the bus heading up I-81 to the Carrier Dome on Wednesday afternoon, someone forgot to tell them that they were not supposed to win, or even make it close. But in the first half the Bearcats acted as if it was the favorite to beat Syracuse, instead of vice versa. It had been five years since the Bearcats had played against the Orange but the started the game with the intensity like it was an age-old rivalry.

“I was impressed with Binghamton,” head coach John Desko said. “I thought they played well,”

Anyone who has followed Syracuse lacrosse knows that face offs have been the Orange’s major problem so far this season. Coach Desko felt that early troubles at the X allowed the Bearcats to take control of the game.

After the Orange took an early lead, the Bearcats clawed back and regained a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. From that point on Chris Daddio controlled the face off circle and helped push the Orange forward. In the second quarter Daddio won 4-of-5 face offs.

“I think I finally got in a rhythm,” Daddio said. “I got down a little but the guys picked me up…. I didn’t really make any changes I just calmed down.”

The rest of the team fed off Daddio’s success and the Orange got goals from Randy Staats, Kevin Rice and Billy Ward, to hold a 5-4 lead going into halftime Despite holding a one-goal advantage at half the Orange knew they needed to make changes, shooting a unusually low 27.8 percent.

“We needed to change the angle of our dodges, take more low shots,” said midfielder Scott Loy.

Desko added, “We needed to get better angles in the second half, guys dodged harder.”

With a few alterations the balanced attack that Syracuse has benefited from all season exploded for four consecutive goals from four different players in the third quarter to take a 9-6 lead.

“Balanced is the way we like to play,” commented Desko. “The ball really doesn’t get stuck in anyone’s stick for too long.”

The Bearcats stuck around as the game wound down trying to claw their way back into it but the Orange explosion in the third quarter was too much to overcome as the Orange took a 10-8 victory.

“I thought we played really well tonight but that six minute stretch in the third quarter was really the difference,” said Binghamton coach Scott Nelson.

For the Bearcats, even though it couldn’t to complete the upset the game, like a string of other close contests this season, could mark a turning point for the program. The effort put forth was not unnoticed by Desko.

“Once again. My hats off to them,” he said. “They played really well coming in here and matching our emotion tonight.”

As Syracuse begins to prepare for Cornell next Tuesday, there are key things that Desko knows the team needs to focus on.

“I think that we continue to and need to continue to improve defensively all year long,” he said. “We gave up four goals in the first half and four in the second. That’s not terrible but I’d rather see two or three.”

After a stellar effort at the X Saturday Daddio redeemed his early struggles against Binghamton, winning 10-of-16 in the final three quarters. Seven different players found the back of the net for the Orange Wednesday night, led by Kevin Rice, Randy Staats, and Dylan Donahue who each scored twice. Nicky Galasso, Billy Ward, Scott Loy, and Hakeem Lecky finished off the score sheet for the Orange.

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