MLAX : Syracuse rides explosive offensive performance to blowout win over Rutgers

first_imgBrian Megill had a day to prepare for his new role as Syracuse’s faceoff specialist.After assistant coach Kevin Donahue told the starting close defender that he would be the starter at the faceoff X against Rutgers, it was all Megill could think about.And he flourished.‘I was thinking about it all night what move I would do first, but I ended up losing the faceoff, so I was kind of eager to get back up there again,’ Megill said in the postgame press conference. ‘I was able to find my comfort zone, and the wings did a good job boxing out for me.’With Megill assuming much of the responsibilities and succeeding at the X, the Orange (6-5, 3-1 Big East) offense unleashed 13 first-half goals en route to a 19-6 thrashing of Rutgers (5-8, 1-4 Big East) at the ESPNU Warrior Classic in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday. Attacks Derek Maltz and Tommy Palasek were the primary beneficiaries of a newfound success at the X, scoring four and three goals, respectively, in the first half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 14 SU outshot the Scarlet Knights 29-14 and won 9-of-16 faceoffs in the first 30 minutes to take a commanding 13-3 lead into the break. The Orange also won an incredible 7-of-7 faceoffs in the third quarter. Rutgers scored two quick goals in the opening quarter, but the Orange rattled off 12 straight goals to open a huge lead.Megill set the tone for Syracuse early in the game, using his brute strength to overwhelm Rutgers’ faceoff specialists and earn the Orange possession most of the first half.Maltz picked up a hat trick less than 11 minutes into the game, and Palasek added two of his own. Then Maltz added his fourth goal with two seconds to go in the first quarter to put the stamp on the onslaught. The Orange scored nine first-quarter goals to rush out to a seven-goal lead.‘It gives our offense opportunities to score and gives our defense a break at the other end,’ SU head coach John Desko said in the press conference. ‘You could see it today, just having the ball on offense and getting some things to work, getting the different midfield groups in, it just helped with all our execution and eliminate all that frustration by not having the ball.’Syracuse added two more goals four minutes into the second quarter, forcing Rutgers head coach Brian Brecht to pull the plug on starting goaltender Steven Lusby.SU was also efficient on its man-up opportunities, scoring goals on three of its four chances in the first half to add to Rutgers’ defensive woes.‘It was great to see the offense clicking and really rolling in the first quarter,’ Maltz said. ‘We’re just going to move forward from here and work hard in these next couple of days for a good Hobart team on Tuesday night.’The offensive ambush allowed Desko to mix and match in his lineup, providing his bench players with valuable game experience. He started Bobby Wardwell in net but inserted Matt Lerman and Dominic Lamolinara between the pipes in the second half.Meanwhile, the offense never slowed.The Orange picked up six goals in the third quarter to continue its dominance. Syracuse’s 19 goals in the game were a season high, and the six goals allowed matched a season low.All things considered, Desko was extremely pleased with his team’s performance.Said Desko: ‘A good day, almost a perfect day for us.’[email protected] Published on April 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img