Lacrosse season opened in the Carrier Dome Sunday afternoon as Syracuse reclaimed the Kraus-Simmons Trophy from Hobart, 13-11, in a classic Upstate New York battle. In a game of quick swings and pushes, the Orange were able to settle down and control the action when it mattered. Syracuse sophomore Dan Hardy made his new, larger presence felt at the attack, dishing out two assists and scoring three, including the game-tying and game-sealing goals.
Hobart jumped out to the early lead off a goal by junior middie Nick Curry. Orange sophomore Pat Perritt answered two minutes later, and a theme of back-and-forth scoring began to emerge. Junior Mike Leveille added another off a dish from junior Brendan Loftus.
Hobart junior Daryl Veltman put the Statesmen back on top 3-2 by rattling off two unassisted goals. Hardy opened up a three goal run for the Orange by tying the game with an aggressive drive at the cage that ended with him launching himself around the post for the score. Junior Steven Brooks, returning to the field after missing most of last season due to injury, then found the back of the net. Brooks ran on the first middie line again and seemed to be back to his old self, taking a lot of hard shots on the run and sometimes trying to do too much, but constantly flying wherever he goes. Perritt was up to the task today, driving hard at his defenders, constantly attacking the cage, and racing all over the field. He ended the burst with a nasty behind the head ripper on the run, putting ‘Cuse up 5-3.
The tit-for-tat scoring continued as the Orange took a 6-5 lead into the half. Brooks opened up scoring in the second half, but back-to-back goals by Hobart sophomore Jeff Colburn and junior Sean Murphy tied the game at seven a side. Also returning to the field after injury sidelined him for most of 2006, Greg Rommel notched a goal from Leveille to put the Orange back up one. The teams were deadlocked again though, as senior Statesmen James Dussich buried a feed from Colburn.
With 5:25 remaining in the third quarter, junior ‘Cuse defenseman Kyle Guadagnolo landed in the box for a one minute slash. With :05 left in the man-up, Colburn found junior James Kirk for the go-ahead goal. The Hobart lead grew to two when Veltman assisted freshman Mike Lazore. Perritt, who fearlessly drove at the cage all day, again charged into the belly of the beast and rattled the iron for his third and final goal of the day, putting the Orange back within one heading into the fourth quarter.
As is usually the case in crunch time, Syracuse coach John Desko got the play he needed out of his boys when it counted. After freshman Tyler Cassell hit Colburn to put the Statesmen back up by 11-9, Orange sophomore Kenny Nims scored off a dish by Hardy.
With about six minutes left in the fourth, the Orange attack, particularly Hardy, took control of the game. After putting on what looks like 40 lbs. in the weight room this offseason, Hardy is a beast. His awareness of his size and his place on the field is impressive and will only get better with maturity. It seemed at certain points at the end of the game he could do what he wanted to backing in on his man. It will be interesting to see how his new physique and play will match-up against some of the better long-poles he will see this season.
Hardy tied the game at 11 by just overpowering his man and working around to the corner from X. Once he drew his man too high, he rolled back off of him and ripped a jumper that found the nylon. Leveille tacked on his second after that, and Hardy iced it by flipping in a ball he snagged out of chaos created by a rebound in front of the net.
The goalies played well, though early season rust let a few odd-hops sneak by. Considering most goals were scored inside of eight yards, the majority of offense came on isolations with no slide-help, and general defensive lapses that left a man open a few feet off-crease. Senior Hobart keeper Brandon Baer snagged 15 saves, while Syracuse sophomore Pete Coluccini tallied 13.
Hardy led all scorers on the day with five points (3g, 2a), but Leveille (2g, 2a) and Perritt (3g) were not far behind. Veltman and Colburn each posted four points (2g, 2a each) for the Statesmen. These two seem to be the offensive catalyst from the squad from Geneva, NY.
Hobart travels to the St. Paul’s School in Baltimore for a neutral sight game against Bucknell Saturday, February 24 at 1:00 p.m. Syracuse hosts Army at the Dome on Friday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Photos and story by Zach Babo.
|Dan Hardy||(3, 2)|
|Patrick Perritt||(3, 0)|
|Mike Leveille||(2, 1)|
|Steven Brooks||(2, 0)|
|Max Bartig||(1, 0)|
|Brendan Loftus||(0, 1)|
|Greg Rommel||(1, 0)|
|Kenny Nims||(1, 0)|
|Peter Coluccini||13 (0.542)|