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Syracuse men’s lacrosse blows past UAlbany 20-7 to stay undefeated

Joey Spallina (22, white) celebrating with his teammate after scoring a goal.
Joey Spallina (22, white) celebrating with his teammate after scoring a goal.

Last year, Syracuse lost to central New York rival UAlbany. This time around, that wasn’t the case. SU men’s lacrosse (2-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) took down UAlbany (0-1, 0-0 America East Conference) 20-7 in an impressive offensive performance. The issue in Syracuse’s home opener against Vermont was not capitalizing on offense. On Friday, the Orange had more goals in the first half against the Great Danes than in the entire game last week.

Leading the way was top recruit Joey Spallina. The freshman finished the game with 5 goals in his second collegiate game. Alongside Spallina were Jackson Birtwistle and Owen Hiltz who each had three goals in the contest.

The Orange started off fast, scoring 35 seconds into the game on their first offensive possession. The Great Danes made it 1-1 a couple of minutes later, but couldn’t keep up with SU’s offensive firepower in the first half. The ‘Cuse scored nine goals in the first half which was more than it had in the entire game against Vermont. After the break, UAlbany struck first, but the Orange eventually pushed the pace and ran away with the game. SU had 11 goals in the second half alone and held the Great Danes to two.

Spallina, who shot 1-for-15 against Vermont, bounced back and scored five goals on seven shots.

“I shot less this week in practice, I took a deep breath and got my stuff together. I was getting in the same spots last game and just finished this time,” Spallina said about his shooting performance against UAlbany.

This was the largest margin of victory for Syracuse over UAlbany ever. The team was firing on all cylinders early, scoring five goals in the first quarter alone. Ten different players found the back of the net for the Orange.

Cole Kirst, (40, white) runs past a defender toward the net
Cole Kirst, (40, white) runs past a defender toward the net

The offense was aided by Johnny Richiusa winning 17-of-29 faceoffs and when the Great Danes got their opportunities, senior Will Mark was once again stout in net, finishing with 14 saves.

“I am happy with the overall performance, we executed well and we will focus on moving on to the next one,” Gary Gait said regarding the team’s performance.

Syracuse stays undefeated and has another home game against Holy Cross on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tune into WAER’s coverage at 12:30 p.m. for McClurg Team Countdown to Faceoff.