Men's lacrosse wins 200th game in Carrier Dome

No. 9 cruised to a 17-5 victory over Canisius behind Rice and Maltz.

Kevin Rice hasn’t always had the most opportunities to score in Syracuse’s remarkably deep offensive output. But Rice, a sophomore attackman, made use of every chance he had in a dominating win over Canisius.

Rice scored three goals and three assists as the Orange put aside last week’s upset loss at Villanova with a 17-5 rout of the Golden Griffins. The win marked the 200th victory in the Carrier Dome for a men’s lacrosse team since the team began playing games full time in 1981.

“I’m definitely getting more comfortable,” said Rice, who has 10 goals and 13 assists on the season. “It’s something that, as an attack group, we need to keeping working on and keep getting better.”

Derek Maltz scored four goals, including a third-quarter hat trick, for the Orange (6-2). Derek DeJoe, Ryan Barber and Scott Loy each added a pair of goals for Syracuse, who put the game away early with a 12-1 halftime lead.

“When a team comes in, you want to jump on them early and put any hope they have out early,” Rice said. “I think we did a pretty good job of that today.”

Syracuse couldn’t have started much better. Loy tallied his first goal only 64 seconds into the match, charging the defense before slipping a shot just inside the far post. Kevin Collins responded for the Griffins (1-7), grabbing a fast-break pass from Nick Caldiero and sweeping a low shot into the net as he was falling down to beat goaltender Dominic Lamolinara and tie the game at 1-1.

But that was as close as the Orange would allow their opponent in the second-ever game between the two Empire State foes.

Loy notched his second goal of the match with 8:13 to play, and JoJo Marasco, Rice and Barber gave Syracuse a 5-1 first-quarter lead as the Orange blitzed the Griffins’ net with unassisted shots.

“We did what the game plan was; we bowed them a bit, wouldn’t let them get comfortable on defense,” Syracuse coach John Desko said. “And on offense, we ran well, there was a lot of movement in the offense, and the guys weren’t standing still.”

The onslaught continued in the second quarter, as the Orange got goals from Maltz, Rice, Barbers, DeJoe, Matt Walters and Dylan Donahue to take a commanding 12-1 lead into the locker room.

Maltz then went to work early in the second half, scoring his first of three third-quarter goals only 49 seconds in, including an over-the-shoulder dump off a pass by Rice.

“He’s getting more comfortable in there, and becoming more and more of a gamer,” midfielder Chris Daddio said of Maltz. “Derek Maltz is the best off-ball player in the game, and if Kevin can get in back there, that’s going to get Derek more goals and more assists and keep our offense going. And then when they try to shut him down, that’s going to open up the midfield.”

Daddio, for his part, helped the Orange improve on a season-low effort in the faceoff at Villanova. After giving up five faceoffs in the first quarter, the junior finished with nine of Syracuse’s 11 faceoffs won, and he also picked up two of the Orange’s 27 ground balls, for good measure.

“I had to figure out what he was doing,” said Daddio, who struggled early against Canisius counterpart Mike Moran. “We got off to a slow start; he’s a different faceoff guy, and he tries to just rip the ball out. I went up and asked the other faceoff guys to help me out, tell me what they see, and we ended up figuring it out. The first couple of times I tried to get in and get out from the front. They switched things up, so I just had to put it behind me and hope the guys came up with it.”

SU goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara (3-1) only allowed one goal with one save in the first 30 minutes of goaltending action for Syracuse. Former starter Bobby Wardwell spent the third quarter in the crease, and made two saves while only allowing one goal before third-stringer Ben Romagnoli finished off the game as Desko emptied his bench.

“It was good to come out with the ‘W,’ let the younger guys play,” Desko said. “We got Bobby Wardwell back, and I saw improvement in what he was doing. The younger guys played, and they’re going to be the future next year. It was good to get them out in a game; that experience will pay off in the future.”

Local product Tim Edwards, a Jamesville-DeWitt High School graduate, led the Griffins with two goals and an assist, though he did all of his damage in the final period. Brandon Bull and Brad Thomas also scored for Canisius, whose top line attack of Austin Romantic, Vince Gravino and Sam Connors was held to only four shots.

“We’ve been preparing for them all week,” defender Brian Megill said. “We watched a ton of film, and we knew what they were going to do coming in. We did a great job communicating between the defenders and the defensive midfielders.”

The 27 ground balls, 24 clears and 14 turnovers was the type of defensive effort the Orange would like to recall as they face a crucial stretch that includes next week’s game at Princeton and a quick-turnaround home match with regional rival Cornell.

With win No. 200 in the Dome behind them, the Orange hopes to add to that total in the coming weeks.

“Any win in the Carrier Dome is a good win,” Desko said. “That’s a great thing. Every 100 is big.”

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