ITHACA (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Junior Randy Staats netted a career high nine points (five goals, four assists) and Syracuse outscored Cornell 8-4 in the second half as the seventh-ranked Orange (7-3) defeated the sixth-ranked Big Red, 14-9, at Schoellkopf Field on Tuesday, April 8.
It is SU's fourth win this year against a top-10 opponent and the Orange improved to 6-0 in non-conference play.
Four of Staats's goals came in an 11-minute span in the second half that turned an 8-6 Syracuse advantage into a 12-6 Orange lead. Staats' breakout performance was the second nine-point game for an SU player this season. Dylan Donahue tallied eight goals and one assist versus Siena on Feb. 10.
Junior Kevin Rice added seven points against Cornell on three goals and four assists. Rice assisted on three of Staats' goals, including two during Staats' personal four-goal run.
In the first quarter, Henry Schoonmaker got the Orange on the board at the 11:04 mark and he added his second goal nearly four minutes later to increase SU's advantage to 2-0.
The Orange kept the Big Red off the board until the 4:23 mark in the first quarter as Dominic Lamolinara made three saves in the early going before John Hogan scored for Cornell unassisted.
The Rice-Staats duo produced SU's next two goals, as Staats fed Rice for an extra-man goal with 1:30 left in the first quarter. Staats found Rice again at the 10:32 mark in the second period to give the Orange a 4-1 margin.
Cornell (9-2) stormed back, scoring the game's next four goals to take a 5-4 lead. Dan Linter found the cage twice in 16 seconds, and the Big Red ultimately tied the contest on Connor Buczek's strike at the 5:41 mark in the second quarter. Joe Paoletta gave Cornell the lead with 4:52 remaining in the opening half.
Billy Ward halted SU's drought with 4:07 to go in the second quarter, and Hakeem Lecky put the Orange back out in front when he scored on a feed from Donahue to give SU a 6-5 advantage with 2:15 remaining in the opening half.
In the third quarter, Syracuse claimed a 7-5 lead after a frantic, turnover-laden sequence for the Big Red. Donahue was the beneficiary of a Staats pass and he slotted it past Cornell goalie Christian Knight at the 12:41 mark. Rice scored again moments later on an extra-man opportunity to push the SU advantage to 8-5 with 11:56 remaining in the period.
Cornell got one back, but Syracuse sealed the game on Staats' four unanswered tallies, including a highlight-reel effort when he collected a ground ball, fended off a Cornell defender while hurdling another, and spun to score. That goal put the Orange ahead 11-6 with a little more than 13 minutes to go in the game. One more Rice-to-Staats connection extended the lead to 13-7 with 6:50 left, an advantage it would not relinquish despite Cornell finishing the game on a 3-2 run.
The Syracuse defense held the Big Red to seven goals in the first 54 minutes and Cornell's nine total goals equaled its lowest output of the season. Cornell was 0-for-5 with the extra man. In addition, defenseman Brandon Mullins shut out Big Red leading scorer Matt Donovan who entered the game averaging 3.7 points per contest.
Buczek and Paoletta paced the Big Red with four points apiece. Both players had two goals and two assists. Lintner scored a team-best three goals. Knight recorded 10 saves in a losing effort.
The Orange returns to action Saturday, April 14 when it hosts No. 4 North Carolina in a pivotal ACC matchup at the Carrier Dome. Faceoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on ESPNU.
(Courtesy: Syracuse University)