SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Top-ranked Syracuse (1-0) defeated Siena (0-1) in the earliest season opener in school history on Monday, Feb. 10 by the score of 19-7 at the Carrier Dome. Attackmen Dylan Donahue (Camillus, N.Y.) and Kevin Rice (Skaneateles, N.Y.) turned in near record-setting performances, combining for 17 points in the contest. Donahue tallied a career-high eight goals and one assist to finish with personal-best nine points, and Rice had a career-best eight assists. Donahue’s goal total and Rice’s number of assists were both one off the Orange single-game records.
The pair paced a balanced, efficient Syracuse offense that featured 12 different goal scorers and converted on 50 percent of its shots (19-38). Donahue was the only SU player with more than one goal. In fact, besides Donahue and Rice, only junior Randy Staats (Six Nations, Ontario, Canada) and freshman Dylan Maltz (Ashburn, Va.) had multi-point games. Staats tallied one goal and two assists in his Syracuse debut and Maltz had one goal and one assist in his first collegiate contest.
“I thought guys were ready to play right from the beginning and came out and got some early goals, “ SU head coach John Desko said. “As the first quarter went on we kind of controlled the game. I thought the offense was pretty patient. I think the second quarter we started to force it a little bit, but then we settled down and came out and scored the first two or three goals right away in the third quarter and picked up where we left off.”
The Orange rattled off three straight goals to start the game as Donahue, Staats and senior captain Derek Maltz (Ashburn, Va.) all scored in the opening four minutes. The Saints responded with goals by Richie Hurley and Rob Hunter to close the gap to 3-2 with 6:42 to play in the first quarter.
From there it was all Syracuse. The Orange scored nine of the game’s next 10 goals to open up a 12-3 lead at the 11:37 mark of the second quarter. Siena’s Conor Prunty and SU’s Henry Schoonmaker (Portland, Ore.)traded goals to make it 13-4 Orange at the break.
In the third quarter, Syracuse outscored the Saints 4-0 with Donahue registering all four goals. Rice assisted on the first three, and the fourth was an unassisted man-down goal at the 6:16 mark that pushed the Orange advantage to 17-4.
Syracuse emptied the bench in the fourth quarter and the Saints outscored the Orange reserves 3-2 in the period to produce the 19-7 final score.
Orange senior goalie Dominic Lamolinara (Arnold, Md.) played the first half and made six saves to earn the win. Junior Bobby Wardwell (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and redshirt freshman Evan Molloy (Manhasset, N.Y.)finished up. Wardwell totaled five saves, while Molloy had one is his SU debut.
Hurley led the Saints with four goals. Starting goalie Tommy Cordts allowed 17 goals and recorded six saves in nearly 39 minutes of action. Kenny Carpenter replaced Cordts in the cage during the third quarter finished with three saves.
Syracuse held a 38-32 advantage in shots and a 15-13 margin in faceoffs. Senior Chris Daddio (Purcellville, Va.)led the Orange effort at the X, winning 10-of-17 (.588) draws and picking up six ground balls.
The Orange continues its three-game homestand Sunday, Feb. 16 when it welcomes No. 10 Albany to the Carrier Dome. Faceoff is at 4 p.m. on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
Game Notes: Six of Donahue’s eight goals (75 percent) came via Rice passes … Donahue’s eight scores were the most for the Orange since Gary Gait had eight against Army on March 26, 1988 …. Rice’s eight assists were the most by an SU player since Casey Powell finished with eight helpers versus Loyola in the 1997 NCAA Tournament … The Orange’s eight first-quarter goals were its most in one period since scoring nine in the opening quarter of a 19-6 victory against Rutgers on April 14, 2012 … Rookies Nick Weston (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) and Jordan Evans (Syracuse, N.Y.) both scored their first career goals in the first half … Syracuse improved to 3-0 all-time against Siena and 5-0 in its history against MAAC opponents … Desko is now 15-1 in season-opening games.