Men's Lacrosse: SU vs. Albany

Lacrosse wears down in-state rival

Albany was able to hang around for some time, but Syracuse "got comfortable" in the second half, Orange head coach John Desko said.

The Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse team beat the Albany Great Danes, 16-7, Sunday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. The Orange (2-0) pulled away in the second half after heading into halftime with just a three-goal lead. Freshman Matt Lane scored two goals, alongside five other contributors, in a first half that saw Syracuse out-shoot Albany 38-9. Despite the onslaught, Orange head coach John Desko said that there's still much to work on. 

Syracuse midfielder and faceoff specialist Ben Williams prepares to get the ball for his team.


"We went into halftime disappointed that there wasn't a bigger margin with the amount of time we had the ball on offense, and the lack of time they had it," Desko said. "Even though we put up the points that we did, you'd like to see a higher percentage."


Syracuse won all eight of the faceoffs in the half, a stat that helped them stay on the offensive most of the time, much to the dismay of Albany head coach Scott Mar. 


"It's hard to win when you don't have the ball," Mar said. "0-8 facing off in the first quarter, it's hard to play defense that much and continue to play stop after stop."


Coach Mar added that he's not a fan of the faceoff.


"I don't think they should be able to play out the ball the way they do," he said. "John [Desko] was too, until they got a guy like [Ben Williams]. It's a specialized position. I don't think that the ball should be clamped, I think it should be raked out. I don't think there should be a situation where a guy can put his stick on top of a ball, tilt his stick, and withhold the ball. You're not allowed to do that anywhere else on the field, so, why isn't it withholding on the faceoff?"


Williams would go 17-24 in faceoffs for the whole game.


Freshman Jordan Evans and junior Tim Barber each scored goals within the first 2:02 of play in the first, jumpstarting a half where the Orange never broke away, but it seemed Albany was always playing catch-up. 


Syracuse would gain control of the game in the second half, outscoring the Great Danes by three in each quarter. One of the problems Albany (0-1) had was their inability to clear the ball from their defensive zone, which led to several goals against.


"That's not like us, we should clear the ball every time," Great Danes goalie Blaze Riorden said. Meanwhile, Syracuse cleared the ball 18 of 19 times. 


Syracuse turned the ball over just 13 times in the game, an improvement from last week's season opener against Siena where that number was 18, coincidentally the same number of times Albany turned over in this game. The Orange were also dominant in picking up loose balls, they beat Albany in the ground balls department by a count of 45-26. 


"We're a ground-ball blue-collared team and we like to get our ground balls, and they out ground-balled us today, give them credit," Riorden said. 


With nine total players scoring for Syracuse, Desko was pleased with the effort. 


"That's what we'd like to be standard, it's how we like to play," Desko said. "We don't want to give the ball to one person all the time, and if they get stopped then our team stops or our offense stops; we want to share the ball."


The Orange return to action next Sunday at 4 p.m. against Army in the Carrier Dome. 


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