SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The first round of the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament begins this week and No. 8 seeded Syracuse will host unseeded Albany Sunday at 7:30pm in the Carrier Dome. The Orange have already seen the Great Danes once in the Dome this February, cruising to a 16-7 victory while handing Albany a loss for its first game of the season.
After winning the ACC Championship two weeks ago and capping “senior day” with a win over Colgate, Syracuse is rolling on a five-game win streak, improving to 11-4 overall. The Orange only lost one home game this season to No. 3 Notre Dame. Albany went 12-2 in the regular season, only losing to Syracuse and No. 1 seeded Maryland. The Great Danes were upset by Hartford in the America East semifinals for an overall record of 12-3 this season.
Dylan Donahue leads the Orange with 58 points on 28 goals and 31 assists. Donahue led the Orange over Albany in February with one goal and five assists. Sergio Salcido follows Donahue with 26 goals and 21 assists. Salcido scored one goal and assisted on two during the first matchup between the two. Nick Mariano proves to be a scoring machine as he rounds the top three with 34 goals and 11 assists. Mariano finished February’s game against the Danes with three goals and one assist. Matt Lane shared second for points against Albany with two goals and two assists.
Connor Fields leads the Great Danes with 71 points on 42 goals and 29 assists. In the last matchup with Syracuse, Fields tallied zero goals and two assists. Following Fields is Albany’s leading scorer this season, Seth Oakes with 43 goals and 10 assists. In February’s game in the Carrier Dome, Oakes added one goal and one assist. Rounding out the top three is Justin Reh with 22 goals and 18 assists. Reh had a pair of goals during the first matchup with the Orange. Drake Bennett also scored a pair of goals against Syracuse in February’s game.
Ben Williams has won 205 of 325 faceoffs this season, winning 17-24 against the Danes in February. Backup Cal Paduda won three of three. Zach Ornstein is Albany’s go-to faceoff guy, winning a total of 178 of 318. Ornstein went 7-25 against Syracuse in February. Backup Chaunce Hill went 0-2.
Warren Hill started in goal against Albany in February, allowing seven goals on 12 shots on cage, however, Evan Molloy will start between the pipes for the Orange this weekend. Sunday’s game will mark Molloy’s eighth start in goal this season, recording a save percentage of .577. Blaze Riorden has started all 15 games in goal for the Danes, facing 583 shots. Riorden has a save percentage of .572. During February’s matchup with the Orange, Riorden allowed 16 goals and made 17 saves.
The winner of this first-round matchup will travel to Providence, Rhode Island to play the winner of Maryland and Quinnipiac on Saturday, May 21.