Photos/Recap: Syracuse Upended by Bryant in NCAA Opener

"This is the performance we've grown accustomed to for 20 games now," Pressler said of Waldt. "He has been absolutely lights out, and he saved his best performance for the fourth quarter when his teammates needed him the most."

James led all scorers with six points, posting a career-high four goals on just four shots and adding two assists on the day. Senior midfielders Colin Dunster (Cos Cob, Conn.) and Alex Zomerfeld (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) each chipped in a pair of scores for the winners, while senior captain JK Poirier (Coatesville, Pa.) and Morrell added single markers on the day. Gantz finished the evening with a pair of assists, while junior faceoff specialist Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) went 14 of 23 from the faceoff X with a game-high 10 ground balls.

Syracuse got a hat trick from Rice (4 points) and two more goals from Nicky Galasso, as the Bulldogs limited leading scorers Dylan Donahue and Randy Staats to one goal and one assist apiece. The Orange goalie duo of Dominic Lamolinara (5 saves) and Bobby Wardwell (4 saves) combined for nine stops on the night.

The Bulldogs led throughout the first half, taking an early 1-0 edge on a Dunster tally 3:11 in. Syracuse's Hakeem Lecky knotted the contest at 1-1 just 90 seconds later, beating Waldt with a shot across the goal and into side netting, but the scoring would stall from there until the final minute of the opening frame.

With 23 seconds to go, James drove across the field behind the net and swung around from the left, hugging the crease to fire a shot over the left shoulder of Lamolinara for a 2-1 Bulldog lead. And with 2.9 seconds remaining, Poirier made it 3-1 Bulldogs, as the senior captain charged in toward the net and took a pass from James in stride, gunning a one-timer home for the two-goal advantage.

Maltz drew the Orange back within one, 3-2, just 2:24 into the second, but rookie longpole Jared Kaden (Martinsville, N.J.) forced the biggest turnover of his young career at the top of the Orange box and picked up the ground ball, feeding it to James who netted the odd-number rush for a 4-2 Black and Gold lead.

Henry Schoonmaker beat Waldt low with 10:08 to go to bring the Orange back within a score, 4-3, but the Bulldogs would continue to respond. With the stall warning on, Gantz connected with James from behind the net. James swung the ball to Zomerfeld 15 yards out, and the senior made his shot count to move the score to 5-3.

Donahue would get on the board to close out scoring in the second with 4:49 left on the clock, sending the teams into the half with a 5-4 margin favoring the Black and Gold.

The Bulldogs opened the third with their second stall-warning goal of the game -- another scored by Zomerfeld and Dunster answered Rice's ensuing goal to keep the margin at two goals, 7-5, entering the final 15 minutes.

The win marks the team's fifth in a row and fourth in the last 11 days. It is also Bryant's first victory over an ACC opponent. But the Bulldogs aren't looking ahead to their next ACC match-up quite yet.

"We are going to take two days to enjoy this one," said Pressler. "We'll get to the Terps on Tuesday."


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2014-05-12



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