Orange take down Blue Jays, 13-8

No. 7 Syracuse used an early first period scoring streak to upset No. 5 Johns Hopkins in the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

Hakeem Lecky knew he would get his chances to shine for the Syracuse men’s lacrosse team this year. But four games into the season, he hadn’t had too many.

Lecky, a 5-foot-10-inch, 167-pound midfielder, found them in the fifth game.

Lecky scored twice off the bench, and starter Scott Loy had a hat trick as the No. 7 Orange pounced on No. 5 Johns Hopkins for a 13-8 win in front of 6,292 fans in the Carrier Dome.

“We just tried to focus on getting good movement off the ball,” Lecky said. “JoJo (Marasco) is a great ball distributor; he’s been playing really well. He has his head up every time, makes some great feeds, and guys that are open just have to catch and shoot. We just try to keep the movement, run our offense, and it works out.”

Lecky scored his first goal as part of a 6-0 run in the first period after Holden Cattoni gave the Blue Jays (5-2) a 1-0 lead barely three minutes into the game. Luke Cometti responded by finishing a pass from Marasco with 10 minutes left in the period, and Henry Schoonmaker scored back-to-back volleys to set up Lecky’s first goal of the season for the Orange (4-1).

“I don’t try to rush anything,” Lecky said. “I just try to keep the offense moving and do what we can out there to put the team in a good position to win.”

Lecky scored his second three minutes after halftime, when Hopkins’ Ryan Brown scored with a man advantage to pull the Blue Jays within 9-7. But Lecky’s goal ignited a 5-1 run the rest of the game as Syracuse took control.

The Blue Jays didn’t help itself early, committing six turnovers to put Hopkins in an early hole from which it couldn’t recover from. Wells Stanwick scored three goals and an assist, but Hopkins couldn’t overcome the first period.

“You can’t win playing like that,” Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. “I kind of feel like we laid a big egg. I thought Syracuse played extremely well, shot the ball very well. But I thought we played more not-to-lose than we did to win.”

The Orange got a boost from reserve goaltender Dominic Lamolinara, who replaced starter Bobby Wardwell at halftime, to finish with five saves on seven shots faced. Wardwell allowed six goals, but also made three saves in the first 30 minutes. Lamolinara saw his first action of the regular season, and he was surprised when goaltender’s coach Kevin Donahue called his name coming after the tunnel at halftime.

“I came out before the half, just like normal, and coach Donahue told me I was going to go in and to warm up instead,” Lamolinara said. “I had done that all of last year, so getting that quick warm up at halftime was all the time I needed. When I did get the chance, I just settled down and focused on the game.”

The rest of the defense also stepped up, including new starter Sean Young, who held Blue Jays standout Brandon Benn to one goal on one shot. Young, who started alongside defenders Brian Megill and David Hamlin, saw time as Syracuse continued to search for a permanent replacement for the injured Brandon Mullins, who went down with a knee injury in the Orange’s win over Virginia.

“I was excited and nervous at the same time,” said Young, who learned of the start on Wednesday. “But once I settled in, it’s just a game. I just played my game.”

The offense also got goals from others beside Marasco and last year’s leading scorer Derek Maltz. Loy scored a goal each in the first, second and third periods, scattering shots from around 15 yards out as the Hopkins defense collapsed on Marasco, who finished with three assists, and Cometti, who had a goal and an assist.

“That’s our offense. There’s a lot of movement,” Loy said. “With Luke being such a good off-ball player, and JoJo being such a good ball feeder, usually that leaves me in a good spot to shoot and finish from about 10 or 12 yards.”

Henry Schoonmaker notched two goals and an assist for the Orange, and Maltz, Billy Ward, Dylan Donahue, Matt Harris and Matt Pratt scored once each.

“All year long, even last year, we hadn’t relied on one player,” Syracuse coach John Desko said. “We asked the other guys to step up, and these guys have certainly had some good opportunities to get on the field. They know they might be getting potentially the weakest defender on the team, and we talked about it since day one that they need to use (those chances).”

The win puts Syracuse on a four-game winning streak after dropping its season opener at home to Albany. But that loss seems like a million years ago for the Orange.

“It’s a great win for us,” Desko said, “to have Hopkins come into the Carrier Dome rated where they were. I think that is going to do a lot for us going forward; we’ll take a lot of confidence from it.”

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.