SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The 2011-12 Orange men’s lacrosse team used a balanced offensive attack to defeat a team of SU Alumni All-Stars, 12-4, in the second annual Orange Alumni Classic on Saturday Oct. 8 at the Carrier Dome. The event featured several past lacrosse greats, including four-time All-Americans Mike Leveille and Gary Gait, and 2011 standouts John Galloway, Joel White and John Lade, facing off against the current team.
“Some of our current players were talking before the game about getting the autographs of the alumni after the game,” SU head coach John Desko said. “They grew up watching these players and that may be part of the reason they chose Syracuse. That is the fun part of this event.
If Desko was worried about the Orange being awestruck he didn’t need to be. The Orange received goals from 10 different players in the victory with redshirt freshman Henry Schoonmaker and sophomore Billy Ward leading the way with two apiece.
The Syracuse offense clicked early and often. The Orange tallied eight of the first nine goals in the contest and led 8-2 at halftime. Seven different players scored for SU in the first half with senior Bobby Eilers, sophomore Derek Maltz, reshirt senior Tim Desko, Schoonmaker, senior Kevin Drew, redshirt junior Pete Coleman and Ward all finding the cage.
In the third quarter, Josh Amidon, who starred for the Orange from 2008-11, did his best to get the Alumni All-Stars back in it. Amidon had the only goals in the period, scoring twice, to trim the Syracuse advantage to 8-4.
But it was all Syracuse after that as the Orange notched four fourth-quarter goals to cruise to victory. SU junior Matt Pratt was the offensive catalyst in the final period, scoring once and assisting on a goal by rookie Matt Walters.
Amidon’s two goals led the Alumni All-Stars. The alums also received goals from Matt Abbott and Kenny Nims.
Redshirt sophomore Matthew Lerman started in the cage for Syracuse. He played the first half and made two saves. Freshman Bobby Wardwell relieved Lerman and totaled three third-quarter saves. Sophomore Ben Levy and senior Paul Dubas split the goaltending duties in the fourth quarter.
The Alumni All-Stars used four goalies in the game with each one playing a quarter. Jason Gebhardt got the start and made three saves. Rob Mulligan (one save), Al Cavalieri (three saves) and Galloway also took turns in the cage.
For the first time, the Alumni Classic featured an Old Timer’s game with a group of even-year grads (Orange) taking on a team odd-year grads (Blue) prior to Saturday’s main event. The teams played two 25-minute halves of running time with the Orange defeating the Blue, 9-8. John Matthews led the Orange team with four points (3g, 1a), including the game-winning goal.
Saturday’s exhibition was SU’s only fall scrimmage. The team still has two weeks left of fall practice to prep for the upcoming 2012 season.