Orange Defeat Great Danes; Hoyas Next

The Syracuse men's lacrosse team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, defeating Albany 21-13 at the Carrier Dome. The Orange will meet Georgetown next Sunday in Ithaca, NY.<br><br>

Eleven different players scored goals in the victory. Senior Michael Powell led the team with three goals and three assists, while Brian Nee and Alex Zink closed out their Carrier Dome careers adding four goals each. Grad student Kevin Dougherty had three goals.

This was the second time the Orange defeated Albany this season. The two teams met on April 24 as Syracuse coasted to an 18-8 win. Freshman Merrick Thomson led the Great Danes with six goals and one assist.

The 21-goal outburst was the most by an SU in the NCAA Play-offs since 1992 when the Orange defeated Johns Hopkins in the semifinals, 21-16. It tied the third-best play-off effort by Syracuse. The most recent 20-goal total for the Orange came in a 20-8 victory against Air Force in 2002. The last time it happened in the Carrier Dome was in 2000 when the Orange defeated Georgetown, 24-16.

"I thought Albany did a great job getting after the groundballs in the first half which gave them a lot of valuable possessions," said SU head coach John Desko. "I thought we needed to get out in the second half and do much better with that and we did. We won some faceoffs in the third quarter, settled down, ran the offense and got the separation we wanted to be a little more comfortable in the second half as far as the goals were concerned."

Powell scored his 40th goal of the season as Syracuse took a 1-0 lead with 39 seconds gone in the game. Albany answered on goals by Matt Green and Thomson giving the Great Danes an advantage they held for 46 seconds.

Sophomore Brett Bucktooth knotted the score at 3-3 and Nee scored consecutive goals. Powell gave SU a 6-2 lead on a man-up goal.

Albany battled back with three straight goals including two from Thomson to cut the lead to 6-5. Powell assisted Nee on the next goal, with six seconds left in the half for a 7-5 lead.

Syracuse scored the first six goals of the second half, including two from Dougherty. Albany finally answered with 1:46 remaining in the third, on a score from junior Luke Daquino, but the Orange closed out the period with goals from sophomore Greg Rommel and Dougherty. Zink scored his second goal of the half, followed by a goal from freshman Mike MacDonald in the fourth period. Albany, aided by a man-up goal, scored four of the next five but the Orange ended the threat with a three-goal stretch that featured two more from Zink. Albany ended the game's scoring with three goals in the final two minutes.

Syracuse junior Jay Pfeifer played three periods for the Orange and finished with eight saves and just six goals against. Senior Nick Donatelli played the entire fourth period and made seven stops. Albany's Kevin Rae had 15 saves. SU out-shot the Danes, 50-42, which included a 41-22 edge after three periods.

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