Syracuse Stays On The Road Against In-State Rival UAlbany
After a historically bad loss to No. 16 Notre Dame, Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse (4-5, 1-2 ACC) is already involved in more history ahead of Thursday’s game against UAlbany (3-5, 2-1 AEC). For the first time since the two met back in 2004, the Great Danes are set to host the Orange at Casey Stadium. The last 19 showdowns have taken place inside the Carrier Dome, where SU has owned the all-time series, 17-2. UAlbany’s last win over the SU in February 2018 was a dominant one, though. The Danes were the No. 3 team in the nation, and they sure looked like it after handing No. 8 Syracuse a 15-3 defeat. Longtime UAlbany head coach Scott Marr got an unbelievable performance out of faceoff specialist TD Ierlan, who won 16 of 21 faceoffs against Syracuse. The Victor native (and current SU volunteer assistant) went on to set the Division I record for faceoff percentage (.791) that year, leading the Great Danes to their first Championship Weekend in program history. The magical run all started with a win over the Orange, but plenty has changed for both programs over the last few seasons.
That much was obvious on Saturday, when the Orange put up little resistance against the Fighting Irish. A Notre Dame team who’d yet to score more than 12 goals against a ranked opponent tallied 22 on Dave Pietramala’s defense. Sophomore goalie Bobby Gavin was pulled after allowing eight shots to get by within the first 13 minutes. Fellow sophomore Harrison Thompson played the rest of the way, finishing with seven saves and a 33% save rate. SU trailed by as much as 12-0 before senior Brendan Curry momentarily stopped the bleeding 20 minutes in. The ‘Cuse wouldn’t pull back within single-digits before the clock hit zero and the scoreboard read 22-6. For the Irish, junior attacker Jake Taylor made his first career start and took advantage; torching the Orange for a program-record eight goals. As a team, Notre Dame shot a stunning 22-36. In the crease, All-American netminder Liam Entenmann denied 13-18 Syracuse looks on target in just under 53 minutes.
Surprise, UAlbany comes into this one on better footing than SU. The Danes are winners of two in a row over America East rivals Stony Brook and UMass Lowell. Junior attacker Graydon Hogg leads UAlbany with 20 points and eight assists, and scored a team-high four points against Syracuse last season. Senior attacker Corey Yunker leads the squad in goals scored (13) despite missing the first three games of 2022. The marksman puts almost 89% of his total shots on goal. Defensively, Liverpool native Jake Piseno will cause problems for offensive coordinator Pat March. The junior LSM leads the AEC in caused turnovers per game (1.8) and also leads UAlbany with 41 ground balls.
The Great Danes are 0-2 against ranked opponents, but the Orange have dropped from No. 18 to outside of USILA’s most recent poll. Meanwhile, Syracuse is 3-0 when matched up with an unranked foe. The opening faceoff from Casey Stadium is at 7 on Thursday night. WAER’s coverage goes live at 6:30 with GZA Countdown to Faceoff.