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Saturday, Feb 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm

Syracuse Comes From Behind to Defeat Albany on Last Second Goal

By Nick Petraccione

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse men’s lacrosse defeated No. 12 Albany (0-1) on Saturday 10-9 in the Carrier Dome on a last second goal by Nick Mariano.

With only seconds left on the clock and the game tied 9-9, Nate Solomon dodged from behind the net and found Mariano, who ripped an underhand shot on the inside post with 1.6 seconds left, sealing the win for Syracuse.

“We had enough time to dodge and goal to the goal,” said Syracuse head coach John Desko. “It was kind of a pick play for Nick to come off for the shot and there wasn’t a lot of room there…He snuck it inside pipe on the goaltender. It was great for us, we didn’t have to go into overtime.”

For Mariano, he was so keyed in during the game’s final moments that his mind was absent as his team drew up the final play during Albany’s timeout with seven seconds left.

“Honestly I was listening in the huddle until the last five seconds when Coach Donahue and Coach Desko said I was going to come off the pick,” said Mariano. “I knew what we were doing already, we’ve been practicing that all year…I just caught the ball and it just went in. I don’t even know how it went in. I just saw everyone erupted and I just jumped up in the air.”

The Orange (2-0) trailed by as many as five in the first half, before bringing the score to 6-3 as they headed into the locker room.

Its three goals in the first half are SU’s fewest scored in the first two quarters since it netted only three against Maryland on May 21, 2016.

But the Orange came back in the second half and outscored Albany by a margin of 7-3.

Regardless of the win against a top-12 program, Desko knows the offense needs work. He said the offense was impatient: rushing to take shots before letting the play develop. The Orange also were missing contributions from its key offensive players.

Jordan Evans was silent, recording no points after having a career-high eight-point day against Siena last week.

The starting attack only contributed one goal the entire game and it came on Mariano’s last second shot. Nate Solomon didn’t even have a shot, although he tallied one assist.

The defense was a big question for Syracuse after Desko announced earlier this week that starting defenseman Nick Mellon will be out for the entire season.

Syracuse allowed the Great Danes to go on a scoring barrage early in the game, but it buckled down after halftime. In the third quarter, it held Albany scoreless.

Evan Molloy came up with a few key saves: he tallied nine in the win.

The Orange will look to fix its offensive struggles this week before it takes on Army on Saturday, February 25 in the Carrier Dome at noon.