SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The number 11 ranked Syracuse Orange hosted No. 10 North Carolina in the Orange’s last ACC matchup of the regular season. Syracuse proved to be reckoned with, defeating UNC 13-7. In a game of runs, today’s matchup seemed somewhat reminiscent of the overtime losses to Johns Hopkins and Duke as Syracuse took an early lead only for North Carolina to make a comeback. Not this time, though. The Tar Heels fell short after a late surge and the Orange took off again.
The Orange went on a 6-0 run in the first half, giving them a 8-2 lead going into the break. North Carolina then had a 5-1 run in the second half, giving Syracuse Coach John Desko memories of the Orange losses at Hopkins and Duke.
“They got within two and I kept looking at the clock,” Desko said. “It wasn’t running fast enough. I thought somebody kept turning it off but our defense played tough and we got the ball on offense and were able to score a couple more.”
The Orange fired four more shots into the back of the cage before the final whistle to seal the win. Syracuse offense was led by Sergio Salcido who finished with three goals and two assists. Nick Mariano also added a hat trick while Tim Barber had two goals and an assist. Dylan Donahue served four assists to his teammates while adding a goal of his own. The Orange went two for two on man-up opportunities.
North Carolina was led by Michael Tagliaferri with four goals, followed by Luke Goldstock who added two goals and one assist. The Orange defense didn’t give North Carolina any man-up opportunities.
Syracuse’s Ben Williams finished with 16 of 24 faceoffs, including all six faceoffs in the fourth quarter. Stephen Kelly took the faceoffs for North Carolina and won the remaining eight of 24.
“Benny has been playing his heart out for us all the time,” goalkeeper Evan Molloy said. “Whether the team is playing well or in a rut a little bit there he always gives his all.”
Molloy made his third start of the season today, saving nine of 16 shots on cage. Molloy made a save on the first shot of the game which was cleared and resulted in the first Syracuse goal.
“That’s kind of the most fun part of playing goalie for me,” Molloy said. “Playing offense there getting the ball down the field. The guys love when we run and gun like that.”
Brian Balkam played the full 60 minutes in cage for the Tar Heels, making ten saves on 23 shots on goal.
With the win, Syracuse improves to 7-4 on the season and 2-2 in the ACC. North Carolina drops to 6-5 and 2-1 in the ACC.