PISCATAWAY, NJ – Senior attacker Delby Powless (Hagersville, Ontario) had four goals and sophomore goalie Greg Havalchak (Corning, NY) stopped 21 shots as the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team upset No. 4 Syracuse, 14-10, on Saturday afternoon at Yurcak Field.
The win over Syracuse improves Rutgers to 7-3 overall and marks the highest-ranked opponent the Scarlet Knights have knocked off since No. 3 UMass (12-9) in the regular season finale last year. Syracuse falls to 8-2 overall.
It was also Rutgers’ second consecutive triumph over the Orangemen, after last season’s 12-11 overtime victory at the Carrier Dome. It is the first time in program history that the Scarlet Knights have beaten SU twice in a row and is the third win in the last five games for RU over Syracuse at Yurcak Field.
The fourth-ranked Orangemen stormed out of the gates quickly, as Michael Powell netted two early goals to stake the Orangemen to a 3-1 lead with 6:25 left to play in the first quarter. The Scarlet Knights ripped off nine of the next 10 goals over the next 21 minutes, taking a 10-4 lead with just over a minute to play in the first half.
Jamie Lovejoy (Holbrook, NY) started the offensive blitz with an unassisted goal with 5:29 to play in the first quarter. Rutgers won the ensuing face-off, and Dan Achtz (Seaford, NY) picked up the ground ball and fired a shot past SU’s Jay Pfeifer to tie the game at 3-3. Sean Battoni (Ringoes, NJ) gave Rutgers the lead for good on his third goal of the season, followed by unassisted tallies from John Flanagan (Smithtown, NY) and Lovejoy.
Powless scored back-to-back-to-back goals in the second period to give the Scarlet Knights to a 9-4 lead. Leif Blomquist (Long Beach, NY) scored to give RU a six-goal lead (10-4), but Syracuse closed out the scoring in the first half with a goal from Brian Crockett.
Tim White (Rockville Center, NY) and Brett Mooney (Springfield, PA) each scored in the third quarter, giving Rutgers its largest lead of the game (12-5), but the high-powered Orangemen, who lead the nation in scoring offense, rattled off three-straight goals to cut the margin to 12-8 entering the fourth quarter.
Havalchak, who nearly matched his career-high of 22 stops on Feb. 28 vs. Dartmouth, made 10 saves in the final quarter to preserve to win. Rutgers’ fourth-quarter goals were scored by Blomquist and Lovejoy, while Syracuse received scores from Sean Lindsey and Powell.
Aside from Powless’ four goals, Rutgers also received a goal and career-high four assists from White. Battoni controlled the face-off circle for RU, winning 14-of-24 draws (.583). Powell, the nation’s second leading scorer, entering the game, was held to four points, his second-lowest output of the year. Syracuse had a 47-31 advantage in total shots.
The win marked the sixth time in 10 games this year that the Scarlet Knights have scored at least 10 goals. RU is 5-1 in those contests.
Rutgers returns to action next Saturday, April 24, when it travels to State College, PA, to open ECAC Conference play against Penn State. Face-off is set for noon.
Rutgers vs. Syracuse