Syracuse players Randy Staats, Bobby Wardwell and Henry Schoonmaker join coach John Desko in the post-game press conference after the Orange pulled out an OT win against upstate New York rival Albany for the second straight year.

Box score

From press release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Midfielder Henry Schoonmaker (Portland, Ore.) scored 28 seconds into overtime to lift No. 1 Syracuse (2-0) to a 17-16 victory over No. 10 Albany (0-1) in front of 6,484 fans Sunday at the Carrier Dome. The goal was Schoonmaker’s first career game-winner, capping a high-scoring overtime affair between the two New York rivals for the second year in a row.

Schoonmaker’s winning score came on the only shot in overtime as the Orange started the extra session a man down, but with the ball because they possessed it at the end of regulation. Junior Randy Staats (Six Nations, Ontario) sprinted on the field after the remaining five seconds expired on a slashing penalty against senior Matt Harris (Buffalo Grove, Ill.). Staats received a pass, dodged against an Albany pole and dumped the ball to Schoonmaker who spun and a fired a bounce shot over goalie Blaze Riorden’s shoulder and into the net to end the game.

“It was a game much like last year’s,” Orange head coach John Desko said referring to Albany’s 16-15, double-overtime win at the Dome in 2013. “Fortunately, we had the ball last and were able to put them away with a play we set up at the end of the game. My hat’s off to Albany. They came into the Carrier Dome and played a great game.”

Schoonmaker finished with a pair of goals, but it was Staats who turned in a breakout performance in his second game for the Orange. Staats tallied five goals and two assists to finish with seven points. Redshirt sophomore Dylan Donahue (Camillus, N.Y.), who had nine points Monday in the season opener against Siena, followed it up with three goals and two assists against Albany. Senior captain Billy Ward (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) added a career-high three goals in the contest.

For Albany, the dynamic attack trio of brothers Lyle, Miles and cousin, Ty Thompson combined for 14 points. Ty had five goals. Miles recorded one goal and two assists, and Lyle finished with one goal and five assists. The Great Danes also received four points from John Maloney (three goals, one assist).

At the outset it appeared the Orange would have its way with the Great Danes, jumping out to a 4-0 lead, including consecutive goals by Ward.

Derrick Eccles got the Great Danes on the board with an unassisted goal at the six-minute mark, but Syracuse came right back scoring three of the quarter’s last five goals to claim a 7-3 margin after the first period.

In the second quarter, the Great Danes used a 6-1 rally to seize its first lead of the game, 9-8. Lyle Thompson assisted on three goals during the run, however, Staats seized some momentum back for the hosts by racing down the left alley and tickling the twine with three seconds left in the quarter to tie the game, 9-9, at the break.

The teams traded goals in the opening minutes of third quarter before five straight Orange goals, including two by Staats, gave SU a 16-11 advantage with 10:43 remaining in the game. Not to be outdone the Thompsons helped engineer a 5-0 Albany run that included the game-tying goal by Maloney with 2:06 left.

The Great Danes won the faceoff after Maloney’s goal and during the course of the possession, Harris committed a slash and Albany went man-up with 55 seconds to play. On the restart, Orange goalie Bobby Wardwell (Clifton Park, N.Y.) made a crucial save against Lyle Thompson and redshirt sophomore Tom Grimm (Carthage, N.Y.) picked the ground ball for Syracuse. The Orange cleared successfully and Desko called timeout with 12 seconds to go. Out of the timeout, Desko put the ball in captain Hakeem Lecky’s (Nantucket, Mass.) stick. Lecky did not get off a shot, but he maintained possession so Syracuse could start overtime with the ball, leading to Schoonmaker’s winning goal.

Wardwell played the second half and made eight saves, including, seven in the fourth quarter, to earn the win. Senior Dominic Lamolinara (Arnold, Md.) started and made eight saves in the first half before he was relieved by Wardwell.

Riorden finished with 11 saves in the cage for the Great Danes.

Albany outshot the Orange in the game, 48-44, but went just 1-of-6 (.167) with the extra man. Syracuse held a 42-35 advantage in ground balls and owned the faceoff X, 24-12. Senior faceoff specialist Chris Daddio (Purcellville, Va.) was spectacular. He attempted a school-record 36 draws, winning a career high 24. He also picked up a personal-best 13 ground balls.

The Orange opens ACC play next Saturday, Feb. 22 when it hosts Maryland at 1 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome. The game will be televised live in Central New York on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

Game Notes: The game marked the third time in the last four meetings that Syracuse and Albany combined for at least 30 goals … Daddio’s 24 faceoff wins tied Chris Cercy for sixth on the school’s single-game record list, and were the most for an SU player since Chris Bickel won 25 at Massachusetts in 2003 … Daddio’s 13 grounders tied for ninth on the Orange single-game ledger … Redshirt sophomore defender Brandon Mullins (Coppell, Texas) registered his first career point with an assist in the fourth quarter …. Syracuse is 8-3 the last two seasons in one-goal games … The Orange is 9-1 in its last 10 games versus top-10 opponent.

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