Syracuse vs. Binghamton
March 24, 2007
The Game Story:
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Sophomore attack Kenny Nims and junior midfielder Steve Brooks each scored four goals to lead #14 Syracuse (3-3) to a 16-10 victory against Binghamton (1-4) in the first-ever meeting between the two teams on Saturday, March 24 at the Carrier Dome. Nims also had an assist to finish with a personal-best five points on the day. For Brooks, it was his third straight game with at least three goals, and his four tallies against the Bearcats matched his career high.

The victory was the 100th for SU head coach John Desko, who became the fastest active Division I head coach to reach 100 career victories. He achieved the feat in just 133 games. Desko surpassed the active mark of Princeton head coach Bill Tierney, who earned 100 wins in his first 141 games. Desko is 100-33 since taking over the Orange program in 1999 with three national titles.

In addition to Nims and Brooks, the Orange also got a hat trick from junior attack Mike Leveille, who finished with a total of four points. The performance extended his consecutive-game point streak to 32, which is the fourth-longest in the country. Junior Brendan Loftus also had multiple goals for the Orange, chipping in two scores.

Senior Jon Jerome had the best game of his career at the face-off “X” to help set up the Syracuse attack. Jerome won a personal-best 18 draws, including 14 in a row to start the game. He finished 18-of-21 on faceoffs, leading the Orange to 23 wins on 28 face-off attempts as a team. In addition, Jerome registered the first point of his career with an assist on Nims’ first goal of the contest, and scooped up 13 ground balls.

The Orange jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first minute of play on goals by Leveille and Nims. Leveille’s score came just 36 seconds into the contest and Nims scored five seconds later off a pass from Jerome, who had just won the faceoff. A goal by Brooks extended SU’s lead to three, but the Bearcats responded with three straight scores to tie the match with 11:25 to go in the first half.

Syracuse tallied five of the game’s next six goals to build an 8-4 advantage and took a 10-5 margin at the 2:20 mark of the third period on Nims’ third goal of the game.

The Orange appeared to be in control heading into the final period, but the Bearcats tallied three straight scores to open the final quarter, and cut the SU lead to 10-8 with 12:01 remaining. Binghamton’s Nate Kerstein began the scoring spree with man-up goal and capped it by assisting on Steve Carlson’s man-up tally.

Binghamton almost pulled within one minutes later, but the referee ruled SU goaltender Peter Coluccini picked up a shot that had squirted past him before it entered the cage. The play swung the momentum back to the Orange, and SU ended any hope of a comeback with four straight scores. Brooks started the run with a pass that deflected off a defenseman past Binghamton goaltender Larry Kline for goal with 9:31 left in regulation. Consecutive tallies by Loftus, sophomore Matt Abbott, and Nims pushed SU’s lead to six, 14-8, with 5:44 remaining and put the game out of reach.

Jake Boyce led the Bearcats’ attack with a hat trick. Carlson and Kerstein each added two goals.

Binghamton’s Drew Wichmann had a fine game distributing the ball. He registered career-high five assists in the contest.

Binghamton’s top face-off man J.P. Wioncek did not win a draw, going 0-for-15, mostly against Jerome.

Syracuse had a pair of players see the first game action of their careers versus the Bearcats. Freshman Chris Daniello got in the game in the final minutes on attack, and rookie midfielder Lincoln Cavalieri also made a fourth-quarter appearance.

Junior Mike MacDonald saw increased playing as part of the Orange's attack and registered his first point of the season with an assist in the second quarter. Junior middie Steve Babbles also got in the 2007 scoring column with an assist on Brooks’ second goal.

The Orange returns to action on Saturday, March 31 with a match at Loyola. Faceoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. from Diane Geppi-Aikens Field in Baltimore.