SU loses to Albany in double overtime thriller

No. 13 Syracuse battled back after trailing early to Albany, only to lose in double overtime, 16-15, in the team's first season opening loss since 1996.

There was only one word University of Albany coach Scott Marr needed to describe his men’s lacrosse team’s emotions after a double-overtime victory: finally.

Great Danes attackman Miles Thompson scored his third goal nearly a minute into the second overtime, and Albany (1-0) withstood a late rally to hold off No. 13 Syracuse (0-1), 16-15 in the Orange’s home-opener. It was Albany’s first-ever win over upstate New York rival Syracuse.

Photo: Ziniu Chen
Redshirt senior David Hamlin (31) fights to keep the ball from Albany in Sunday's game. The Orange lost in overtime to Albany 16-15.

“We’ve been waiting a long time,” Marr, whose team won for the first time in 11 attempts. “We played almost five minutes of straight defense, and knew all we needed was one shot.”

The loss was the Orange’s first in a season opener since 1996, and it came after Syracuse controlled the offensive flow for the vast majority of the first extra period.

“We were looking at each other, wondering what should we do next,” Syracuse coach John Desko said. “We were getting all these opportunities, but for a pipe here, a save there, a miss here.”

Junior midfielder JoJo Marasco had three goals and five assists to pace the Orange, and redshirt freshman attackman Dylan Donahue led a furious late charge by scoring three goals in the final quarter to force overtime.

But Syracuse couldn’t find the net in the most important session.

“The goalie stepped up big at the end, and there were a couple of posts here and there,” said Marasco, who became the first Syracuse player with seven or more points in a game since 2009. “We had the opportunity. It’s a tough thing, but we’ve got to take it in stride and go forward with it.”

Donahue tied the game with less than three minutes to play, capping off a long series of passes that circled the Albany goal. He took the final pass from Marasco, then swooped into a sleepy Great Dane defense for the game-tying goal.

Albany goalkeeper Blaze Riorden made 13 saves for the Great Danes, including three in the final two minutes of the first overtime as Syracuse peppered his net with shots.

The Great Danes jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter as Ty Thompson combined with cousin Miles Thompson and Will Fuller to score off Lyle Thompson’s three assists.

Derek Maltz put Syracuse on the board first, but it would be his only contribution as Albany’s defense locked down the junior team captain. That opened up the offense to Donahue, who helped paced a seven-pronged attack.

Luke Cometti scored two goals for Syracuse, and Kevin Rice, Scott Loy and Billy Ward each added a goal. Rice also had three assists for the Orange.

“When there’s seven guys scoring, it really opens it up for everyone else,” Donahue said. “I think going from here, it’s going to be good to see what we can do.”

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