Air Force vs. Syracuse
March 9, 2002
The Game Story:
DENVER, CO - The No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orangemen overcame early two-goal deficits and outscored Air Force, 6-0 in the second quarter, en route to a 20-8 victory at the 2002 Pioneer Men's Lacrosse Face-Off Classic at the University of Denver's Pioneer Field. It was only the second meeting between SU and Air Force, who first met at the Carrier Dome in 1986. Syracuse won that first meeting, 22-6.

"Today's game was similar to the way our first two games of the season went," said SU head coach John Desko. "The other team came out fired up. We had to adjust to what they were doing. Once we settled down, our offense was good and our defense gelled. Our man-up was pretty sharp today and I thought overall our special teams did well. Once again, I was happy with Jay Pfeifer's play in goal."

Air Force (1-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter behind goals by Adam Gaudinski and Kyle Warf. Syracuse junior attackman Michael Springer (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) tallied an unassisted goal at the 9:53 mark which made the score 2-1. The Falcons took a 3-1 lead after Gaudinski fed Kevin Hill at the 6:48 mark. SU's sophomore sharpshooter Brian Nee (Cockeysville, Md./Boys' Latin) notched his first of three goals with 2:51 remaining in the opening quarter, but Air Force held on to its two-goal lead (4-2) when Matt Dudderan found the back of the net with 14 seconds remaining in the opening period.

In the second quarter, Syracuse (3-0) settled down and found its offensive rhythm. The Orangemen went two-for-two on the extra man situation and outscored Air Force, 6-0, for the quarter. Nee netted his second goal of the game, off an extra-man feed from senior midfielder Brian Solliday (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) at the 13:54 mark. Senior attackman Josh Coffman (Carthage, N.Y./Carthage) tied the game at 4-4 off a pass from sophomore attackman Michael Powell (Carthage, N.Y./Carthage) just a 1:12 later. Freshman midfielder Kyle Olson (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) tallied his first collegiate goal at the 8:47 mark to give the Orangemen their first lead of the game, a lead they would never relinquish.

SU led 8-4 at halftime. Solliday, Powell and senior midfielder Spencer Wright (San Diego, Calif./Junipero Serra) all scored in the pivotal second quarter.

The Orangemen continued to pour it on in the third quarter. Two quick goals at the beginning of the period, one by senior midfielder Tom Hardy (Tully, N.Y./Tully) and one by Powell, gave SU a 10-4 advantage. The Orangemen built a 10-goal lead (16-6) by the end of the third quarter.

Desko used his entire bench and a number of players recorded career firsts. Freshman attackman Zack Wallace (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) entered the game in the third quarter and registered two assists, his first career points. Classmate Jake Plunket (Cortland, N.Y./Homer), who has been used primarily for faceoffs, scored his first collegiate goal with 4:11 remaining in the contest. Sophomore attackman Alex Zink (Rowayton, Conn./Darien) also got in the scoring column with his first career tally. It was a man-down goal that came off a feed from senior defenseman John Glatzel (Ellicott City, Md./Boys' Latin) with 2:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. The goal gave SU a 19-6 advantage, its largest lead of the afternoon.

The 20 goals scored by Syracuse were the most since a 24-16 victory against Georgetown at the Carrier Dome during the 2000 season.

Red-shirt freshman goalie Jay Pfeifer (Towson, Md./Gilman) played the first 45 minutes in goal for Syracuse. He had two saves and allowed six goals before being replaced by senior Alex Mummolo (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury). Mummolo faced 10 Air Force shots in the fourth quarter and stopped six of them. He allowed two goals.

Powell was the game's high scorer with six points (three goals, three assists). He has recorded at least six points in SU's first three games and already has 20 points on the season. Coffman finished with three goals and an assist. Solliday had two goals and two assists.

The Orangemen will play Denver on Sunday, March 10, at 3:30 p.m. EST at Pioneer Field.