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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Joey Spallina leads historic, 16-3 win over Manhattan to improve Orange to 3-0

It was a historic effort as Spallina and the team accomplished feats that hadn’t been reached in very long times.

Photo by Josh Crawford, Sports Illustrated/FanNation

The Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse team closed out their wildly successful first week of the season by yet again asserting their dominance over an opponent inside the JMA Dome.

This time, in their third game in seven days, it was the Manhattan Jaspers, who never stood a chance in the Orange’s 16-3 triumph over them. With the emphatic win, SU won their first three games by eight or more goals, a feat they had not accomplished since 1958 when their opponents were Union (20-2), Cortland (13-2) and Hobart (16-1) and Roy Simmons, Jr. was a senior on the team. That’s 66 years.

‘Cuse simply outclassed Manhattan and overpowered them in every way with superior skill and superior athletes. The Orange scored the same amount of goals in the game’s opening 90 seconds as Manhattan scored in the entire game.

Joey Spallina (3G, 7A) was once again the primary catalyst as he put down the best statistical game of his career. He set a new career-high with 10 points on three goals and seven assists. He had a new career high in assists before the end of the first half when he dished out his sixth with six seconds to go before scoring an unbelievable goal five seconds later with one second remaining in the half. Spallina got on the end of a wild, bouncing Mason Kohn shot and picked it out of mid-air to throw it home with one second left. He keeps finding new ways to amaze:

Joey’s the first Syracuse player to score 10 points or more in a single game since Ryan Powell did it against Hobart on March 28, 2000. That’s a ‘wow’. Spallina now has 26 points in three games. Double ‘wow’.

The offense on the whole just took advantage of a soft defense from Manhattan. Just like Colgate before them, they were giving the Orange offense tons of space to operate, and SU was able to use their movement to find easy looks to pile on the scoreboard. Spallina set a new career high in assists largely because he had so much time to find his teammates.

This was an incredibly well rounded day from the offense. Owen Hiltz (3G, 3A) joined Spallina in having a big day as he racked up six points on three goals and three assists. The two of them combined for 10 assists on the 14 SU goals they were actually on the field for.

Beyond those two, nobody on the team scored more than two points as the wealth was spread all over the place. Jake Stevens (2G) and Mason Kohn (1G, 1A) each had two points, but that was it for the multiple point scorers.

However, 13 different players registered a point and 11 players scored a goal. ‘Cuse assisted on 13 of their 16 goals, which makes 41 assists on 54 goals for the season (76 percent). Of all the incredible attributes this Orange offense possesses, a willingness to share the ball and work for the best scoring chance might be its most valuable.

The defense was absolutely lights out on a Manhattan team playing their first game of the season. They held the Jaspers to three goals, caused eight turnovers and I think I counted six shot clock violations. Will Mark was great with six saves against three goals (66.7 percent), while Jimmy McCool (4 saves) and Patrick Duffy (1 save) did not surrender a goal in relief.

The face-offs were a complete no contest in this game, in about as dominating an effort as you can have. The Orange went 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) overall, but their two primaries were actually even better than that. Mason Kohn went 14-of-15 (93.3 percent) with 13 ground balls, and John Mullen went 4-of-5 (80 percent) with three GBs. They won most of them with little to no resistance from Manhattan’s FOGOs, and the Orange dominated ground balls, 44-27.

‘Cuse jumped out in this game by scoring three goals in the first 90 seconds before Manhattan ever even touched the ball. After a Jasper goal on their first possession, SU rattled off seven straight to take a 10-1 lead before tacking on two goals in the final six seconds of the first half to go into the break at 12-2. The second half was a mere formality from there.

Play time is over and it’s now going to be time to get serious for Gary Gait and the Orange, as they will get some actual rest before getting back in action next weekend when they host the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, February 17 at 6 PM on ESPNU.