Balanced attack leads No. 1 Orange past Denver in season opener

Five different Syracuse players scored two goals and the Orange were never really threatened as they defeated Denver in their season opener, 13-7.

Following two lackluster scrimmages, the No. 1 ranked Syracuse lacrosse team finally got to take the field for a game that mattered. The Orange wasted little time showing why they’ve received such preseason hype, as they blew by Denver, 13-7.

Senior midfielder Jovan Miller started the route for the Orange with a 15-yard strike less than a minute into the contest, and Syracuse led 6-2 after just one period of action.

Photo: Alex Abdalian
Syracuse scored six goals in the first period and five in the third as they routed Denver Sunday, 13-7. Tommy Palasek, 14, tied for a team-high two assists on the day.

“I think it was relieving,” Miller said of the early goal. “There’s been a lot of hype on our season coming up. I like to try to set the tone for our team. The fact that we could get a goal in the first minute, I think it calmed everybody down and I think it set the tone for the rest of the team.”

Though Miller was the first to score for the Orange, he certainly wasn’t the last. Sophomore JoJo Marasco – sporting the hallowed No. 22 for the first time – scored in the opening period as well, and finished the game with two goals and two assists to tie for the team lead in both categories.

“I’m very happy with how I played. The offense moved the ball really well today and I got pretty lucky with getting open a couple shots,” Marasco said. “The defense really helped us out, gave us the opportunity to get the ball. It worked out well and I’m happy with how the team came out and played today.”

Despite SU’s fast start, the Pioneers were able to slow down the Orange in the second quarter. Though the Orange attempted their most shots of the afternoon during the second period, Denver’s switch to a zone defense paid off as the visiting team was able to limit the ‘Cuse to only one goal. Nonetheless, heading into the intermission, Syracuse held a commanding 7-3 lead.

“They switched into a zone defense in the second quarter and really made us work hard for our shots,” SU head coach John Desko said. “When we did get some shots, the goalie got some good saves. They really made us work.”

Following halftime though, the Orange were able to adjust. Syracuse dropped five more goals on the Pioneers in the third period, effectively putting the game out of reach.

“We came out in the second half and got a couple of goals early which helped our cause,” Desko said. “Hopefully it’s going to be just great preparation for next week. It was good beating a good team like Denver, a much improved Denver team.”

Along with Marasco and Miller, Stephen Keogh, Josh Amidon, and Tim Desko also chipped in two goals each. The balanced scoring and the opposing team’s inability to focus on just one player is something that Desko said he likes about his team this season.

“We’ve been able to hurt people with a bunch of guys scoring one, two, three goals a game,” Desko said. “We want to keep that up and we like to share it. I think we’re pretty unselfish offensively, and it think it makes us harder to cover.”

Syracuse will be back in action this Sunday when they host Army at 6 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPNU. The Black Knights were the last team to beat the Orange, as Army came into the Carrier Dome and shocked Syracuse in last season’s NCAA tournament.

LAX Article

Great photos!

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