Syracuse rolls Big Red in home finale

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Bradley Voigt

Penn Yan's Bradley Voigt scored a hat trick when the No. 11 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team (7-3) held the nation’s No. 2 ranked offense to single digits en route to a 13-8 win over No. 10 Cornell April 9 in the Carrier Dome.

Nick Mellen rose to the occasion, holding Cornell star attackman Jeff Teat to no goals and just a pair of assists after the sophomore entered the game sixth in the nation in scoring. Drake Porter made 10 saves in net, continuing a two-game hot streak, where he has made 26 saves and allowed a combined 13 goals. Offensively, Stephen Rehfuss posted his first hattrick of the season, while Voigt added his three goals.

“It was a very good win for us. The guys stuck with the game plan all game,” said Head Coach John Desko. “I thought our faceoff guys and wings did a good job getting us possessions and when they did get opportunities I thought our defense did a nice job, especially Nick Mellen on [Jeff] Teat and Drake Porter was great for us again.

The defense has played back-to-back games against offenses ranked in the top-two nationally in scoring and have outscored them 30-13 in the process. Tyson Bomberry picked up six ground balls and caused two turnovers to complement Mellen’s shutdown of Teat and Porter’s double-digit save effort.

Offensively, ‘Cuse was balanced. Altogether, seven members of the Orange squad would score a goal in the contest, helped by added possessions earned at the faceoff X. Jake Phaup won 11-of-18 restarts and Danny Varello was a perfect 6-for-6. The Orange also won the ground-ball battle 40-24.

Syracuse’s first half was one of the strongest opening halves it has had all season. The Orange used two goals from Rehfuss and a goal from Voigt to earn a 3-0 lead with 8:09 left in the first quarter. A response from Cornell would not come until there was 5:22 left, when Connor Fletcher sunk a shot past Porter. Defenses stood strong for the rest of the first, and the score after one saw Syracuse leading 3-1.

Syracuse opened up the scoring in the second quarter off Peter Dearth’s fourth goal of the season in transition. Cornell would respond less than a minute later, but two Syracuse goals from Solomon and Jacob Buttermore in just over two minutes would extend Syracuse’s lead back to 6-2. The teams would trade goals going into the locker room to give the Orange a 7-3 lead at the break.

Both offenses came out firing in the second half, with each team scoring two goals in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Cornell opened the scoring off Fletcher’s second goal of the evening, and Syracuse responded off a shot from Jamie Trimboli. Cornell scored again 30 seconds later, but Solomon slammed a shot home to give back a four-goal advantage to the Orange.

The rest of the third was all ‘Cuse. Voigt followed Solomon’s goal with his second of the evening off a pass from Griffin Cook, extending Syracuse’s lead to 10-5 with 7:25 left in the frame. It looked like defenses would prevail to end the quarter, but a shot off the stick of Rehfuss found twine with nine second left to give the SU redshirt junior a hat trick. Syracuse extended its lead to 11-5 heading into the final frame.

Voigt opened the scoring in the fourth, but the Big Red responded with a goal of its own. The two teams traded another set of goals, giving Syracuse a 13-7 lead with 7:59 left in the third. Cornell would add one more before the final horn, giving SU a 13-8 victory.

Up next, Syracuse starts a two-game road trip to end the regular season. The Orange face off against North Carolina Saturday in the ACC finale, before heading to Navy to end the regular season April 20.