Statesmen silence Orange

Hobart attackman Alex Love and goalkeeper Peter Zonino snap No. 5 Syracuse's four-game win streak.

Alex Love was directly responsible for more than 50 percent of Hobart’s goals Tuesday night against the Syracuse men’s lacrosse team.

None were bigger than his last.

Love tallied six goals and an assist on eight shots on goal — including the game-winning score — to help the Statesmen (6-6) stun the No. 5 Orange (9-3), 13-12. With the win, Hobart took the Kraus-Simmons Trophy, representation of the third-longest rivalry in Division I men’s lacrosse, west on I-90 for the first time since 2006.

“On the bus, we all just wanted to bring this back to our house and celebrate it,” Love said. “We talk about the trophy all the time in the locker room. It’s an amazing thing, finally being able to hold it up. I’ve been waiting for three years to be able to hold it up.”

The 6-foot, 175-pound junior helped his team finish the game on a 4-0 run, and his goal off a turnover with 2:13 remaining proved to be the match-winner.

The Statesmen, who played their 99th game against Syracuse since 1916, also benefitted from a standout game by goaltender Peter Zonino. The goalie finished with 18 saves on 30 shots on goal to improve to 6-6 on the year.

Syracuse outshot Hobart, 46-29 with a 30-20 edge in shots on frame. But Zonino’s play prevented the Statesmenfrom trailing by more than four goals.

“With the stats, I thought we could’ve come out on top,” Orange coach John Desko said. “But I congratulate them on a great play; Love was terrific tonight. He really came up big for them. I thought the goalie was sensational, too. We haven’t seen him play like that this year; similar to how he played against us last year.”

Zonino posted 18 saves a year ago as Syracuse held on for a 13-12 win in Geneva behind six goals from Derek Maltz. The junior goaltender from Wayne, Pa. continued his run of form against the Orange on Tuesday.

“They’re too talented, too skilled and they shoot the ball too well,” Hobart coach T.W. Johnson said of Syracuse. “If you’re going to win the game, you’ve got to have 15-plus saves. When we won in here in ‘06, we had 16 saves. Pete had 18 tonight. If you look at the stats, a lot of stats favor Syracuse. So, again, the credit goes to our players.”

Zonino got plenty of offensive help, too. Love, who scored four goals in the second quarter, used an unorthodox shot that nearly scraped the turf in the Carrier Dome to beat Brian Megill and the Orange defense in a career night for the Hobart attackman.

“He’s got a great shot,” Megill said of Love. “He’s really good at getting open. He had a couple of nice rips from up top on man-up, one in transition and a couple of times he got me on that rocker. He didn’t get too many good one-on-ones in the second half, but in the first half he got the best of me twice.”

From the beginning, Syracuse came out tired, even after Kevin Rice scored the game’s opening goal barely 90 seconds into the match. The Orange, playing in their third game in six days, spent extended periods without applying pressure on the Hobart defense.

“I think we were tired in spots,” Desko said. “Some of our guys were out there for long stretches, and a couple of them we needed to send up on the faceoffs. We just needed some extra people with some fresh legs.”

Dylan Donahue led the Orange attack with three goals, and Rice added a goal and three assists. JoJo Marasco and Derek Maltz each contributed two goals, but Marasco — normally the engine in the middle of the field — was held to one assist.

The Orange dominated possession, and freshman Cal Paduda won 20 of his team’s 29 faceoffs in his first regular-season start at faceoff specialist.

Cam Stone scored his first of three goals to equalize for Hobart at 1-1 with 8:09 remaining in the first quarter, and gave his team a brief 3-2 lead after goals by Marasco and Love in the second period. The Orange looked to pull away, going up 8-4 on a goal by Donahue with 3:42 remaining in the half. But Love scored two goals 80 seconds apart, and Syracuse took an 8-6 lead into the locker room.

“The whole Hobart team did a nice job,” Megill said, “but Love and the goaltender had special days. I thought they were the difference.”

Derek Akner scored two goals in the final seven minutes to spur the Statesmen on, including the game-tying shot on a pass from Taylor Vanderbeek with 2:21 to play.

That set up Love’s heroics, and his game-winner sent the crowd of 2,362 fans into frenzy — in one direction or the other.

“It’s a Hobart-Syracuse game; they don’t quit,” Desko said. “Guys know each other, and it’s right down the road. We expect this kind of game every year from them.”

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