Eleven different Syracuse lacrosse players scored; seven different players tallied assists. And a ton of second- and third-string guys got some playing time in the 19-6 win over Colgate at the Carrier Dome.
“We haven’t had many games we could do that this year,” Coach John Desko said. “It’s a great reward for them.” Desko’s nephew Jeff Desko had a goal against Colgate in the fourth quarter.
The final home game of the season, and the team’s Senior Day—on top of the end of the semester and finals and, with little at stake in terms of seeding for the tournament—could have set a different stage. But the Orange took the field with a lot of energy, and established ownership of the matchup within minutes of the first faceoff. Said Desko after the game:
“A lot of times we walk into a game like this with so many distractions. And today right from the beginning I’m very happy with everyone—our senior leadership—to get these guys ready this week. We came out and played hard. Good things coming into the playoffs next week.”
Stellar games from senior faceoff specialist Chris Daddio and senior goalie Dominic Lamolinara set the tone early on, and Kevin Rice’s seven points again showed why he’s deserving of the Tewaaratan Award.
After the tough ACC title game loss to Notre Dame—where Coach John Desko started closer goalie Bobby Wardwell over usual choice Lamolinara—Desko reverted back to his usual starting lineup, and said that, going into the NCAA tournament next weekend, Lamolinara would more likely than not start again.
“I follow the coaches, but getting to start on Senior Day was pretty important,” said Lamolinara. “I’m smart enough to know when someone is outplaying me and he [Bobby Wardwell] was.”
But Lamolinara had eight saves on 10 shots through the starting half and won 5-3. Wardwell took over in the third quarter to save four of five shots before Evan Molloy and Tyler Avallone saw playing time.
Colgate couldn’t keep up defensively with a white-hot Syracuse attack, but in particular the Orange’s communication on defense—a season-long issue for the team, and one of the biggest problems Desko pointed toward from the team allowing 30 goals in the ACC tournament—was superb.
“We did a good job of really talking all week during our defensive packages,” said Desko.
“Communication was a lot better this week,” Lamolinara added. “We practiced on it. We knew who they were. It was tough on us to turn it around on Duke and figure out who Notre Dame was two days later. We just executed the game well.”
The Orange will either be a one or two-seed in the NCAA tournament next weekend, likely hosting the first round at the Carrier Dome. They finish the regular season 11-4 overall, 2-3 in the ACC, and ranked 3rd in the nation.
Posted by: Jillian Thaw