No. 4 Virginia Dispatches No. 8 Syracuse in ACC Opener

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Syracuse first midfield combined for eight goals and 12 points, but it wasn't enough as No. 4 Virginia (6-0, 1-0 ACC) defeated the eighth-ranked Orange (2-2, 0-2 ACC), 17-12, Saturday, March 1 at Klöckner Stadium.

Redshirt junior Hakeem Lecky (Nantucket, Mass.) scored a career-best four goals. Linemate Scott Loy (Toledo, Ohio) tallied a career-high five points (two goals, three assists) and redshirt junior Henry Schoonmaker (Portland, Ore.) totaled two goals and one assist.

Despite the group's production, Syracuse couldn't overcome a lack of possessions due to a 24-7 Virginia advantage at the faceoff X and lost its second game in a row. When the Orange did have the ball, the offense was efficient, connecting on 12 of its 32 shots (.375).

"I though the first midfield played really well," SU head coach John Desko said. "If you look at the shots and the number of goals we had, we shot a high percentage. I think it's pretty obvious it's the lack of possessions. They beat us handily on the faceoff. We had to play defense and I don't think you can beat a good team like Virginia having to play so much defense."

Syracuse's shooting accuracy was evident early on as Lecky, junior Kevin Rice (Skaneateles, N.Y.) and Schoonmaker scored in succession to give the visitors a 3-0 lead a little more than nine minutes into the game.

Then Virginia began to turn the tide.

The Cavaliers answered SU's initial offensive surge with six straight goals of their own, including three by James Pannell, to pull in front 6-3 with 11:06 left in the opening half.

Rice scored his second extra-man goal with 8:07 to go before halftime to end the Orange scoring drought and close the gap to 6-4. Syracuse eventually drew within one, 7-6, before Virginia's Rob Emery scored with just under eight seconds left in the half to make it 8-6 Cavaliers at the break.

In the second half, the Orange scored three of the first four goals in the third quarter, including a rocket by junior Randy Staats (Six Nations, Ontario, Canada) over UVa goalie Matt Barrett's shoulder that tied the game, 9-9, with 7:39 remaining in the period.

With the momentum clearly on SU's side, the Cavaliers responded again. Virginia netted four goals in three minutes to regain a 13-9 lead. The Orange got to within two (14-12) with 7:43 to play in regulation on Lecky's fourth goal of the night. However, Virginia pulled away again, netting the game's last three goals to win by five.

Pannell finished with a game-high seven goals for the Cavaliers. Fellow attackman Mark Cockerton also had seven points (four goals, three assists). UVa faceoff specialist Mick Parks won 24 of game's 31 faceoffs (.774) and picked up nine ground balls.

Orange senior goalie Dominic Lamolinara (Arnold, Md.) played the entire game (except for 27 seconds after being whistled for a penalty) for the first time this season and tied his career high with 14 saves. Barrett had five saves in the cage for the Cavaliers.

Virginia's extra possessions led to a 55-32 Cavalier advantage in shots for the game and a 51-21 margin in ground balls.

Next up for Syracuse is former Big East rival St. John's. The Orange and Red Storm square off in the Cobb County Lacrosse Classic at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.

Game Notes: Sophomore Jay McDermott (Duxbury, Mass.) made his first career on close defense. McDermott picked up two ground balls and caused one turnover ... Virginia has won four in a row against the Orange at Klöckner Stadium ... Schoonmaker now has seven goals in his last three games (2.3 gpg) ... Redshirt sophomore Dylan Donahue (Camillus, N.Y.) has a point in straight 11 games. He passed out two assists against the Cavaliers.

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