Photos/Recap: Staats Leads No. 7 Syracuse by No. 6 Cornell

ITHACA, N.Y. -- For the second game in a row, Cornell watched a close halftime contest swing the other way in the final 30 minutes, as Syracuse used an extended 8-1 run to pull away from the Big Red 14-9 on Tuesday evening at Schoellkopf Field. The Big Red slipped to 9-2 with the loss, while the Orange improved to 7-3.

Photos of the action by Rich Barnes can be found on pages 3-6 of this post.

"I thought SU handled the ball really well and their goalies played great," said interim head coach Matt Kerwick. "We fought to the end, but we need to play better lacrosse. Just like Saturday against Harvard, we played long stretches on defense and that hurt us late in the game. The effort was there but the execution has to improve. It was a great atmosphere in front of a great crowd. I wish we could have kept it a little closer but we'll keep improving."

Randy Staats scored six second half goals and assisted on two others as the visitors erased a 5-4 Cornell lead late in the first and then cruised home in the fourth quarter to hand the Big Red its second consecutive home loss by an identical 14-9 score. On the day, Staats had five goals and four assists to lead the Orange, while teammate Kevin Rice posted three goals and four assists. Chris Daddio won the face-off battle with a 14 of 26 evening to play a large role in the Orange outscoring Cornell 8-4 after the break. Syracuse's goalkeeper tandem of Dominic Lamolinara (30 minutes, six saves, five goals allowed) and Bobby Wardwell (30 minutes, six saves, four goals allowed) made key saves to stave off any Cornell charge.

"We knew how talented [Staats] was but I give him a lot of credit. He scored some really nice goals tonight," said Kerwick.

Joe Paoletta and Connor Buczek each had two goals and two assists, while Dan Lintner recorded a hat trick and John Hogan notched two goals and an assist. Freshman goalkeeper Christian Knight made 10 saves for the Big Red and Jordan Stevens won four ground balls and caused two turnovers in front of him.

The Orange held the edge in shots (43-38), ground balls (29-24) and face-offs (14 of 26). The visitors were nearly perfect on the clear (17 of 18) and recorded 2 of 3 extra man goals. SU also had one fewer turnover than the Big Red (8-9). Cornell had three failed clears (13 of 16) and went 0 for 5 on man-up chances.

Syracuse opened the game by taking a 4-1 lead on a pair of goals by Henry Schoonmaker and two by Kevin Rice, sandwiched around a John Hogan score for Cornell. Then the home team came alive.

The Big Red scored four straight, including two from Lintner in a span of just 16 seconds, to take its first lead of the night at 5-4 with 4:52 left in the first half. The quick 4-0 Big Red spurt ended up being the highlight of the night for the 2,690 fans who braved Schoellkopf Field on a chilly evening, taking just three minutes off the clock in the process. Syracuse had an answer, like it did all night, and regained the lead heading into the break with a goal by Billy Ward. Dylan Donahue found Hakeem Lecky with the go-ahead score with 2:15 remaining. on the clock. The Orange wouldn't trail the rest of the way.

The second half was the Randy Staats show, as the junior was able to score in a variety of ways, including a pair of highlight goals during a personal 4-0 run that extended the Orange's lead to 12-6 with 9:44 left on the clock. Staats added one more after Hogan momentarily stole momentum back for the home team. Cornell's 3-1 run made it 13-9 with 5:27 left, but the Orange were able to steal the ensuing face-off and wasn't threatened in the final minutes.

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