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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange overpower St. Bonaventure, 22-6

A huge third quarter run had ‘Cuse all over the Bonnies on Tuesday night.

A bit of a slow start gave way to an explosive second half as the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team eventually dispatched of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, 22-6, on Tuesday night in the first ever meeting between the two NYS programs in the JMA Dome.

The win is the Orange’s second in a row and moves them back over .500 on the season at 5-4.

It took ‘Cuse longer than you might have expected to really pull away from the Bonnies in this one. It was never a tight game or one that left you feeling that they might be in danger, but SU held leads of *only* 4-2 at the end of the first and 8-3 at the half.

It was the third quarter where the offense really hit its full stride. The Orange exploded for the first 11 goals of the second half, nine of which came in the third, to turn the game into a laugher at 19-3. At one point during the run, they scored six goals in less than four minutes. They were humming after turning the intensity-dial all the way up after halftime.

“The guys figured out that they got to show up and they gotta bring the intensity no matter who they are playing,” Gary Gait said after the game. “This is about them. When you get up big on a team, it’s about what you do, not how they play. I encouraged them at halftime; let’s not go three-quarters speed. Let’s do this for ourselves, show we can turn it on when we want and play hard”.

‘Cuse lit up the scoreboard in this one with their highest-scoring game of the season. They put up a whopping 36 points in total, shooting 56.4 percent (22-of-39) and assisting on 63.6 percent of their goals (14-of-22). 14 players scored a goal and 17 players recorded a point as Gait emptied the bench in the second half. Nine players finished with multiple points.

Joey Spallina (2G, 4A) was slow to make an impact but ended up leading the way with his six-point night, aided by a trio of teammates who finished with four points. Owen Hiltz (3G, 1A) and Alex Simmons (3G, 1A) each had hat tricks, while John Cohen (1G, 3A) came off the bench in the third quarter and instantly became a point-producing machine with four points in just about a quarter and a half of action for a career night.

Jackson Birtwistle (2G), Griffin Cook (2G) and Luke Rhoa (2G) all finished with two goals, while Finn Thomson (1G, 1A) and Cole Kirst (2A) each had two points.

Cohen, Pete Fiorini, Tyler Cordes, Max Rosa, and Jack Fine all scored their first goal of the season.

The teams split the face-offs, 15-15, as all four Orange FOGOs got into the game. Johnny Richiusa had one of his best days of the season, going 10-of-17, while Jack Fine went 4-of-8. Freshman Gavin Gibbs (1-of-3) and walk-on Paul Lamonaca (0-of-2) took restarts after the game got out of hand.

Gait was also able to play four different goalies on the night. Will Mark played the first three quarters, making eight saves and only surrendering three goals for a .727 save percentage. Harrison Thompson (1 SV), Kyle Rolley (3 SV) and Patrick Duffy (1 SV) all split the fourth quarter and each got to make at least one save in his appearance.

The Orange will be back in the JMA Dome this weekend when they renew their rivalry with the Hobart Statesmen. The game is Saturday, March 25 at 1 PM on ACC Network Extra.