No. 1 Syracuse Wins Overtime Thriller vs. No. 10 Albany

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, Feb. 16 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 two sides 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.

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2014-02-16



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