Hobart vs. Syracuse
March 25, 2003
The Game Story:
GENEVA, N.Y. ? Junior midfielder Steve Vallone (Corning, N.Y./Corning East) and senior attackman Liam Banks (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) combined for seven goals and four assists as No. 3 Syracuse battled back from a 6-2 first-half deficit on its way to a 15-12 victory against Hobart at the Statesmen's Artificial Turf Facility.

It was the 17th consecutive victory for the Orangemen in the all-time series with the Statesmen. The two teams were playing for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy, named in honor of legendary SU coach Roy Simmons Sr. and former Hobart coach Babe Kraus. The Orangemen have now captured the trophy the last 17 times in the 18-year existence of the tradition. Hobart (4-2) led 1-0 after the first quarter and 3-0 by the 12:37 mark of the second period. Senior John Bogosian tallied two of his team-high five goals in that time. SU registered its first goal of the contest on an extra-man opportunity. Banks, playing in just his second game this season, set up junior attackman Michael Powell (Carthage, N.Y./Carthage) at 12:01 of the second quarter.

The Statesmen increased their lead to 5-1 with goals by Bogosian and Nate Hill with just under 11 minutes remaining in the second stanza. Syracuse threw a bad pass on a clearing opportunity and Bogosian converted the opportunity. SU senior defenseman Sol Bliss (Tully, N.Y./Tully) was called for an illegal body check on the goal and Hobart automatically regained possession without a faceoff. Nate Hill made the most of the opportunity.

Banks had a hand in all four Syracuse goals in the first half. He had an assist on Vallone's first goal which pulled SU to within three goals (5-2) at the 10:01 mark. Bogosian answered by setting up Sean Kent which gave Hobart its largest lead of the contest (6-2) with 8:55 remaining in the first half. Banks tallied the last two goals of the period to give the Orangemen a spark. On both tallies, he drove from around the backside of the cage and came at Hobart goalie Mike Borsz from the right side. Banks' second goal of the game came with 1:25 remaining in the first half. SU only trailed 6-4 at halftime.

Vallone netted the first two goals of the third quarter to tie the score at 6-6 with 12:58 on the clock. His second tally during that spurt was assisted by Banks and came on an SU man-up play. From that point on, there would be six lead changes. After Chris Scanlon put the Statesmen back on top, 7-6, with 11:36 remaining in the third, sophomore midfielder Jake Plunket (Cortland, N.Y./Homer) recorded his first goal of the season after a win at the face-off X. Plunket's goal tied the game at 7-7 with 11:17 remaining in the third quarter. He took the first nine faceoffs of the second half and won five of them, which proved instrumental in SU's comeback. Plunket finished eight-of-17 on the night. Syracuse took its first lead of the game at the 8:58 mark of the third period when freshman midfielder Brian Crockett (Yorktown, N.Y./Yorktown) fed Vallone. Shore, Conklin and Scanlon all registered goals for Hobart in the next seven minutes of the third stanza. Hobart led, 10-9, going into the final 15 minutes. SU went ahead, 11-10, following goals by Crockett and senior attackman Michael Springer (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood). At 12:40 of the fourth, Springer registered his first point of the night, a goal that was arranged for him by Powell. Bogosian got goal No. 4 just 1:38 later which tied the game (11-11) for the sixth time.

Speedy Syracuse midfielder Jarett Park (Otisco, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) helped win faceoffs by picking up groundballs. He took one and sprinted down the right side of the field, around the cage and then safely deposited the ball in the Hobart goal with 10:47 left to play. That score gave Syracuse a 12-11 advantage and the Orangemen would not trail again. Park then assisted junior attackman Brian Nee (Cockeysville, Md./Boys' Latin) to give the Orangemen a two-goal cushion (13-11) with 6:16 remaining.

Freshman midfielder Greg Rommel (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger) scored his third goal of the season to put SU ahead by three (14-11) with 4:42 left. Bogosian tallied his fifth goal 18 seconds later, to pull the Statesmen to within two (14-12) with 4:24 left on the clock. Vallone sealed the win with his career-high fifth goal of the game at the 3:07 mark.

Sophomore goaltender Jay Pfeifer (Towson, Md./Gilman) played the entire game for Syracuse and finished with 10 saves. He made four critical saves in the fourth quarter. Banks finished with two goals and four assists for the Orangemen. Syracuse improves to 4-2 and will play back at home on March 29, against the Brown Bears, at 2:30 p.m.