Top-Seeded Syracuse Survives Early Scare from Bryant

Then, with 3.4 seconds left to play in the quarter and just seconds after the release of a Matt MacGrotty (New Westminster, B.C.) push penalty, a failed Bulldog clear turned into the third-straight Syracuse goal, this time from Matt Walters, sending the teams into the second stanza separated by just a single goal.

But if the first quarter was full of offense, the second was anything but, with the 4-3 margin holding through the opening 9:23. But with the 30-second timer on and 5:37 left on the first-half clock, McMahon netted his 11th goal of the last four games and second of the night, curling out wide around the cage and firing a line drive into the back of the cage for a 5-3 advantage.

Exactly two minutes later, though, Tewaaraton Award finalist JoJo Marasco finally broke through the Black and Gold defense, as the senior brought the Orange back within one, 5-4, on a laser shot to the stickside of Waldt.

Syracuse would get back on the board with 4.7 ticks left before the break to even the score at 5-5, thanks to a Billy Ward pass that connected with Dylan Donahue on the doorstep.

"I was really disappointed with how we finished the second quarter," said Pressler. "We made a mental mistake, and we should have been up, 5-4. That aside, though, to be even with Syracuse on the road after 30 minutes I'll take that."

The Orange came out in the third and quickly earned their first lead of the contest, as leading goal scorer Derek Maltz took a dish from Rice for a 6-5 edge just over two minutes into the period.

And after committing eight giveaways in the first half, the Bulldogs would continue to struggle with turnovers in the third, giving the ball away in each of their first four possessions, a run of errors on which Syracuse would capitalize midway through the frame, when Rice netted his second marker and third point of the day for a 7-5 margin in the hosts' favor.

"I was very disappointed in our inability to take care of the ball, especially when it mattered most when the game was being decided in the third quarter," said Pressler. "We just didn't take care of the ball as well as we should have."

McMahon brought the visitors back within one with seven minutes left in the stanza, completing his fourth-straight hat trick off a feeder pass from Morrell, but Donahue would renew SU's two-goal lead with 5:50 to go in the third, and the Orange didn't look back.

As the clock hit the two-minute mark, Scott Loy put the home side one step closer to advancing with his first marker of the day to move the score to 9-6 in favor of the tournament's top seed. And while Dunster completed his own hat trick his ninth of the year with 58.6 seconds to go to cut Bryant's deficit to just two goals entering the final 15 minutes, it would prove to be the last score of the night for the Black and Gold, who saw the Orange score three unanswered goals in the fourth to wrap up the 12-7 victory.

Massa would open the fourth quarter on a high note, however, winning his 19th faceoff of the game to break his second NCAA single-season record of the 2013 campaign. The win at the X he would finish with just a single faceoff loss in 23 attempts was his 312th of the season, eclipsing the previous record set by Delaware's Alex Smith (311) in 2007. He wraps up his sophomore season with 315 faceoff victories.

Massa's eight ground balls pushed his first broken record of the year to even greater heights, as the second-year faceoff specialist finished 2013 with 231 ground balls after breaking the previous single-season NCAA record of 194 back on May 2. And with the Bulldogs' season official in the books, the New York native also solidified a third new NCAA mark Sunday night this one for ground balls per game. Massa finishes his sophomore campaign averaging 12.16 per outing, smashing the previous record of 11.41, set by Geoff Snider in 2006.

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