Syracuse, N.Y. -- The attack duo of Kevin Rice and Dylan Donahue combined for 17 total points (8 goals, 9 assists) and led Syracuse to a 19-7 win over Siena in its season opener Monday evening at the Carrier Dome.
"Dylan picked up where he left off last year," Syracuse head coach John Desko said. He's been shooting the ball extremely well, moving with and without the ball -- carrying the ball, dodging. He in particular did a good job tonight."
Filling up the box score is nice and all, however, for Rice, the credit goes to the midfield.
"I think it's nice for us that we get the points, but most of the work was done by our middies," Rice said. "We need to give them credit because they were beating their guys and forcing rotations from the close defenders and that's what opens up Dylan and I. It all starts with our midfielders. It was a complete team offensive performance."
Syracuse scored the first three goals before Siena got on the board with an unassisted geno from Siena's Richie Hurley. The Orange would erupt for eight first quarter goals -- five in the second -- and head into halftime with a 13-4 advantage.
Desko experimented early and often with certain offensive combinations, most notably inserting high-profiled junior college standout Randy Staats at both midfield and attack throughout the game.
Staats would finish with one goal and two assists on the evening. His most impressive feature, though, was his ability to fill in the gaps and create space. On attack, Staats and senior Derek Maltz made themselves at home in front of the crease, often lingering in and out.
Syracuse's high-octane offense would continue into the second half with Donahue netting all four of the Orange's goals in the third quarter, three of them coming on assists from Rice. The defense, too, would have a solid third quarter showing, shutting out a Saints team that was ranked in the Top Five last year in goals per game.
"I thought the defense played really well today," senior goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara said. "The communication was up."
Lamolinara, Bobby Wardwell and Evan Molloy would all see action in net for the Orange. Lamolinara would play the entire first half and record six saves while Wardwell (five saves) started the second half and played roughly 24 minutes before Molloy (one save) came in for the last 6:14 minutes of the ball game.
"It was great that he had an opportunity to get out there," Desko said about Wardwell. "It was great to get Bobby out there in a game situation. Both goalies have been playing well. We've been happy."
When asked about a two-goalie rotation, Desko said that he and his coaching staff will evaluate and "talk about it."
"We're still watching the situation," he added.
Aside from Donahue, 11 Syracuse players would find the back of the net and record a goal apiece including Staats, Dylan Maltz, Billy Ward, Derek Maltz, Matt Walters, Scott Loy, Jordan Evans, Hakeem Lecky, Matt Harris, Nick Weston and Henry Schoonmaker.
Syracuse won the face-off battle, converting on 15-of-28 to Siena's 13-of-28. Senior specialist Chris Daddio got the majority of reps, going 10-of-17 (58.8 percent). Mike Iacono (3-of-6) and Austin Wentworth (2-of-5) rounded out the face-off trio.
* On its extra-man up opportunities, Syracuse took advantage, going 4-of-6.
* The clearing game was almost perfect (21-24).
Syracuse's next opponent will be against Albany on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse puts away Siena
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