Umass vs. Syracuse
April 25, 2009
The Game Story:
AMHERST, Mass. – The third-ranked Orange (11-2) shut out No. 16 UMass (8-5) for 38:20 and outscored the Minutemen, 7-0, during that stretch on its way to a 10-3 victory on Saturday, April 25 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The victory was SU's first road win against the Minutemen since 2001.

The UMass scoreless streak was longest for an SU opponent this season and Minutemen's three goals were tied for the fewest surrendered by the Orange in 2009. Syracuse also allowed three goals to Rutgers on April 11 and Providence on Feb. 15 in the season opener.

Close defenders Sid Smith and John Lade led the defensive charge for the Orange, holding UMass leading scorers Jim Connolly and Tim Balise to a combined two goals. In addition, Smith established a career high with six ground balls.

Syracuse’s man-down team also successfully killed both of UMass’s extra-man chances in the contest.

After surrendering a pair of goals in the opening 5:22, the Syracuse defense locked down the Minutemen for the rest of the first half – a stretch of 24:38. The Orange continued to smother the Minutemen until Connolly snapped the scoring drought with 1:18 to go in the third. However, the Orange led 8-3 at that point and sophomore Stephen Keogh put the finishing touches on the win, tallying the only two goals of the fourth quarter to produce the final score.

In addition to the play of SU’s defenders, sophomore goalie John Galloway had one of his best games of the season in the cage. He finished the day with 14 saves, including 10 in the second half. Six of his stops came in the third quarter and several were in close or on one-on-one chances.

Offensively, the Orange featured seven different goal scorers Saturday. Keogh and Josh Amidon were the only SU players with multiple scores. Keogh tallied a game-high three goals, including a highlight-reel between-the-legs tally on a fastbreak with 6:44 left in regulation to make the score 9-3.

Amidon finished with two goals and had an assist to tie his career high with three points. Senior Kenny Nims contributed one goal and assisted on all three of Keogh’s markers to lead the Orange offense with four points.

Trailing 2-1 in the early going, Syracuse scored three straight goals, including an unassisted tally by Amidon at the 1:31 mark of the first quarter to give the Orange the lead for the first time at 3-2. Nims extended the SU margin to 4-2 when he rolled from behind the cage and beat UMass goalie Doc Schneider with 13:37 left in the half. It was the last goal of the period for either side and the visitors carried the two-goal margin into the locker room at halftime.

UMass was fortunate to be down just two at the break as Syracuse put 16 of its 21 shots on goal in the opening 30 minutes, but Schneider kept the Minutemen in it with 12 first-half saves.

Syracuse scored the first four goals in the third quarter, including three in the first 5:15, to extend the overall scoring run to 7-0 and put the game away.

Connolly paced UMass with two goals. Ryan Marcus had the other. Schneider played well, making 16 saves in the contest, but SU’s balanced offensive attack eventually wore down the Minutemen.

The Orange outshot UMass, 37-30, in the contest and held a decided advantage in ground balls, 31-19.

SU concludes the 2009 regular season at home on Saturday, May 2 with a 2 p.m. contest against Colgate at the Carrier Dome. The game will be televised live in Central New York on Time Warner 26.

Game Notes: Saturday’s game was the first lacrosse game at McGuirk Alumni Stadium since April 26, 1997 when the Orange defeated UMass, 9-4 … Attendance for the game was 13,722, the largest crowd in UMass history for a lacrosse game … Nims extended his point-scoring streak to 29 games with an assist on SU’s first goal … Junior Cody Jamieson made his first appearance for the Orange late in the fourth quarter … Senior Scott Kahoe matched his personal scoring best with two points (1g, 1a).