SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 1-ranked Orange men’s lacrosse team (11-1) won its ninth consecutive game Friday, April 18, defeating Empire State rival Albany, 10-5, at the Carrier Dome in front of 5,420 fans. The Orange’s nine straight wins marks the longest regular-season winning streak since the 1994 squad closed the regular year with 10 consecutive victories. The win also improved SU’s record to 6-0 all-time against the Great Danes.
Senior Tewaaraton Trophy nominee Mike Leveille, a native of Delmar, N.Y. located just outside Albany, led SU with three goals. He extended his consecutive-game scoring streak to 51 with the performance and has 20 points, including 11 goals, in four career games against his hometown school.
Syracuse got two goals each from attackmen Kenny Nims (Watertown, N.Y.), Greg Niewieroski (Watertown, N.Y.) and midfielder Steven Brooks (Libertyville, Ill.) in the victory. Nims and Brooks each contributed assists to finish the night with three points apiece.
The Orange also got a superb effort from its defense, holding its seventh straight opponent to fewer than 10 goals and forcing 24 Albany turnovers. Freshman goalkeeper John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) stopped 14 shots in the cage, one short of his career high. Galloway topped the 100-save mark for the season in the contest and now has 101 stops on the year.
The match got off to a blistering start with the two squads combining for three goals in the first three minutes of action. Brooks opened the game’s scoring when he scooped up a rebounded shot and fired it past Albany goaltender Brett Queener 55 seconds into the contest. The Great Danes (5-7) knotted the score on a transition goal by Brian Caufield at 12:47, but Niewieroski answered 44 seconds later to put SU in front, 2-1.
The Orange out-scored the Great Danes, 3-1, in the remainder of the period to claim a 5-2 margin after the first quarter. Nims closed the first-quarter scoring by fighting through four Albany defenders for an unassisted goal after an aggressive SU ride forced a Queener turnover.
Albany head coach Scott Marr employed a zone defense to try and slow down the Orange offense in the second quarter, but Brooks and rookie attackman Stephen Keogh (Toronto, Ontario) managed to find the cage to push the SU lead to 7-2 at the intermission.
Caufield tallied his third goal of the game with 12:43 left in the third the quarter to cut the SU margin to four, 7-3, but the Orange responded by notching three of the game’s next four goals to grab its largest lead of the night, 10-4, with 9:45 left to play. Leveille tallied back-to-back goals in the spurt, including SU’s final goal after rolling from behind the cage and beating Queener with a high shot.
Albany’s Kyle Brunk produced the final scoring, finding the net off a feed from John Alpizar with 3:09 to go, to produce the final score.
Orange senior faceoff specialist Danny Brennan (Farmingdale, N.Y.) went 10-for-17 at the X against the Great Danes to pass Kirk Pratt for third on SU’s all-time faceoff wins list. Brennan has 430 faceoff victories in his career and seven shy of tying Chris Bickel for second on that ledger.
Albany played without leading scorer Corey Small who missed the contest with a pulled muscle. Caufield picked up the offensive slack, notching his third hat trick of the year. Mike Ammann was the only other Great Dane to finish with multiple points. He had two assists.
The Orange will play its final home regular-season game against Massachusetts on Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. The team’s senior class will be honored in a brief ceremony prior to the contest and the match will be televised live in the Syracuse area on Time Warner 26.
|Kenny Nims||(2, 1)|
|Mike Leveille||(3, 0)|
|Steven Brooks||(2, 1)|
|Greg Niewieroski||(2, 0)|
|Dan Hardy||(0, 1)|
|Stephen Keogh||(1, 0)|
|John Galloway||14 (0.737)|