Backed by seniors Nick Mariano and Sergio Salcido, No. 6 Syracuse escapes past No. 12 Albany

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Nick Mariano struggled to score. For 59 minutes, 58 seconds, the player who racked up three goals and four assists a week ago had only one assist to his name. But with six seconds left, Mariano could salvage a weak performance.Out of a timeout, sophomore attack Nate Solomon set up behind the cage. When the whistle blew, he dashed around the back of the goal and locked onto Mariano. Senior attack Jordan Evans set a pick that Mariano rolled around. He received a pass and took a step back before winding up and firing the ball toward Albany goalie JD Colarusso. As Colarusso tried to stop the shot, the ball slid right between the post and his body as the clock struck two seconds.“The ball wasn’t really in my stick (at first),” Mariano said. “Once I got it in my stick I just stepped back and put everything I had into the shot and try to put it in the cage.”That last second goal from Mariano needed the work of all three of SU’s starting attackmen, who had combined for one point all game. But when No. 6 Syracuse (2-0) needed it most, its top offensive threats stepped up to lead SU to a 10-9 comeback win over No. 12 Albany (0-1) inside the Carrier Dome. Midfielder Sergio Salcido also stepped up late, kickstarting Syracuse’s second-half run with two goals and two assists.Salcido did not have a single point until about halfway in the second quarter. A few minutes before his first assist, Salcido fell to the ground in pain. He punched the turf a couple of times before getting up and limping off the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s frustrating because you don’t want to get hurt with the game on the line,” Salcido said. “Fortunately it was just a charley horse.”Meanwhile, Albany expanded on its three-goal lead. The Great Danes netted two goals in 50 seconds to go up five. Salcido returned and, after SU drew a penalty, found man-up specialist Brad Voigt to start a 6-0 run.For most of the first half, SU struggled to create offense. Impatience led to easy saves for Colarusso and Albany’s transition counter attack, giving less time for the Syracuse offense to operate.“The little shots were just like turnovers,” SU head coach John Desko said. “We would come up with a possession, there might’ve been one or two passes and we were going right to the goal and taking a shot on the goaltender.”Mariano and Salcido took a combined 21 shots, 47 percent of Syracuse’s total. Yet the two had only one assist in the first half.Evan Jenkins | Staff PhotographerIn the second half, Syracuse found better shots. Midway through the third frame, Salcido found Matt Lane, who netted his first goal of the season. Eight minutes later, Mariano found a cutting Brendan Bomberry, who tapped the ball past Colarusso to tie the game.Eighteen seconds later, Austin Fusco scored to give SU its first lead. Before Salcido or any of Syracuse’s starting attack scored, seven different SU players had already scored.Until the six-minute mark in the fourth, both Mariano and Salcido were non-factors. Albany added two goals to tie, then take the lead.That soon changed. With a little over six minutes to play, Bomberry picked up a ground ball. He found Salcido, who fired top shelf to tie the game. Less than two minutes later, Bomberry found Salcido again. The midfielder crow hopped and found top shelf.That sequence of two goals in two minutes gave SU its second lead of the game. It also marked the first time one of SU’s top five threats had scored, outside of Bomberry.“I knew the importance of taking those shots,” Salcido said, “and in my head, I was thinking, ‘If you’re going to shoot the ball, make sure it’s the right one. And make sure you put it in the corner.’”Thirty-one seconds later, Sean Eccles scored his second goal of the day to tie the game at nine. He ran off to the Albany sideline, hopping and getting chest slaps from his teammates as Albany positioned itself to force overtime.The Great Danes had outscored Syracuse in every quarter but the third. That’s when Syracuse’s veterans needed to step up, which they hadn’t done all day. And they did. Salcido added two late goals before Mariano ended all hopes of an Albany upset.“I wasn’t listening in the huddle until the last five seconds until (SU assistant coach Kevin) Donahue and coach Desko said I was gonna come off a pick,” Mariano said laughing. “I don’t even know how it went in. I just saw everyone erupt and I just jumped up in the air.” Comments Published on February 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm Contact Charlie: | @charliedisturcolast_img

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