The Syracuse Orange demolished the Siena Saints 18-5 in the Carrier Dome. Offensively, the story of the game was Dylan Donahue who tied a career high with nine points. Donahue picked up nine points against Siena in 2014 as well. On Saturday afternoon the senior had four goals and five assists. Tim Barber followed up Donahue's performance with two goals and three assists. Until today, Barber had never had more than two points in a game so he had a career day in goals, assists, and points. He looked great in a feeding role, assisting on two Donahue goals.
Defensively, the Orange looked good. While the slides could have come more quickly, overall it was a nice performance for an opening game. That said, freshman Nick Mellen looked fantastic. Mellen faced Jordan Barlow for most of the game and held the junior scoreless while finishing his first game in orange with six groundballs and four caused turnovers. Before the season started, we talked about how high Coach Desko was on this kid, and it looks like the sky is the limit.
The Saints were never in this one. SU got off to a 10-goal lead and kept Siena off the board until the second quarter. The Orange had 41 shots on the day against a Siena team which managed just 18. While I mentioned how good Donahue looked, I was very impressed with the depth at the attack position. UMass transfer Nick Mariano pulled in a goal and an assist on three shots. The third starting attackman, Nick Piroli, scored twice and added an assist. Piroli graduated from Brown last year and joined the Orange for his fourth year of eligibility. I imagine this is the lineup we will be seeing for the rest of the year.
At midfield, Tim Barber started alongside Jordan Evans and Sergio Salcido. Like I said, I thought Barber had a heck of a game. One of the smoothest goals of the game came at 10:51 in the third quarter when Donahue hit Barber on the crease for a slap in goal. I don't even think the ball went into Barber's stick. Evans, who is coming into the season with high expectations, snagged two goals. He looked significantly better off-ball than he has in the past. Salcido also had two goals on the day. His two goals were mostly a result of getting open against a zone defense. The Saints played a lot of zone against Syracuse, and got beat consistently in it.
The second midfield line consisted of Ryan Simmons, Derek DeJoe, and Matt Lane. Lane is an imposing figure on the field, standing at 6'7" and can easily outmuscle defensive midfielders. He had an assist in the game at 3:13 in the second quarter. After drawing the attention to him on the far side, Lane dropped below the goal line and fired a pass across the crease to Dylan Donahue who ripped a high heater to make it 9-0.
At the face-off X, Ben Williams took 12 of 16 faceoffs before being relieved by Cal Paduda.
In net, the Orange used three goalies. Warren Hill started the game and went three quarters giving up just two goals and making five saves. Evan Molloy took up the crease to start the fourth quarter followed by Tyler Avallone who finished out the last 2:27 of the game. On the other side Tommy Cordts was peppered all day and gave up 14 goals. Aaron Lewis came into the game for the Saints to start the fourth quarter, picking up one save and allowing four goals.