Syracuse, N.Y. -- Syracuse head coach John Desko said he looked at his coaching staff as the game wore on and told them that it could come down to who had the ball last.
Well, he was wasn’t kidding.
Syracuse did end up having the ball last and needed just 28 seconds in overtime to put the game away against Albany, 17-16. It was redshirt junior Henry Schoonmaker (2 goals) that sealed the Orange’s fate, finding the back of the net on a pass from Randy Staats (five goals, two assists).
The Orange started off in a man-down situation at the start of overtime, but with possession because they held onto it at the end of regulation.
“I just kind of realized I was so open that I kind of let it go,” Schoonmaker said. “When I have nothing else, I kind of make that bounce and make the goalie dip. That’s just kinda my turn-around shot, fast shot, nice little bouncer. I’m usually an overhead guy, but in that situation, I let it go underhand”
For Schoonmaker, it was his first overtime goal in his lacrosse playing career... that he could remember.
“I was actually just thinking about that right now,” Schoonmaker said of the overtime goal. “I think it was my first time getting an overtime goal. Tied it up before but never got the overtime."
Junior Randy Staats (5 goals, 2 assists) sprinted onto the field after the remaining five seconds expired on a slashing penalty against senior Matt Harris. In this instance, Staats’ vision was more superior than his crafty scoring ability. He quickly received the pass, dodged an Albany pole and connected with Schoonmaker.
“It was a game much like last year’s,” Desko said referring to last season’s 15-16 double overtime loss to the Great Danes. “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.”
Led by the attack trio of Lyle, Miles and Ty Thompson, Albany refused to give up, even when Syracuse had its biggest lead of the game -- 16-11 -- heading into the fourth and final quarter of play. The three of them combined for seven goals and seven assists, respectively.
The Orange defense, for the most part, would contain last year’s Tewaaraton Award Finalist Lyle Thompson to just five assists and one goal. Ty, on the other hand, picked up the slack and recorded five goals. Syracuse's defensive stalwart Brandon Mullins had the responsibility of checking Lyle. The redshirt sophomore kept Lyle honest at times, poke checking and bodying up when needed.
Goalkeepers Dominic Lamlinara and Bobby Wardwell split time in cage for the Orange. The two recorded eight saves apiece.
“It’s really just what we’ve been seeing in practice,” Desko said about the two goalies splitting time. “Bobby's playing really well and Dom’s been playing well. They both deserve to play. It’s a difference situation from maybe a year or two ago where we were trying to figure out who the starter would be. Now they’re both playing really well.”
Other notables: Dylan Donahue (3 goals, 2 assists), Billy Ward (3 goals), Scott Loy (2 goals), Kevin Rice (1 goals, 2 assists), Matt Harris (1 goal), Derek Maltz (1 assist), Brandon Mullins (1 assist).
Faceoffs: Syracuse (24-of-36), Albany (12-of-36)
Syracuse will begin ACC Conference play next Saturday, Feb. 22, against Maryland.