Junior attackman Alex Love recorded a career-high seven points and junior goalie Peter Zonino made 18 saves to lead the Hobart College lacrosse team to a 13-12 upset of fifth-ranked Syracuse University in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. The Statesmen reclaimed the Kraus-Simmons Trophy for the first time since 2006 and just the third time since the rivalry game was initiated in 1986.
The 99th edition of the Hobart-Syracuse series saw Love raise his team-leading goal total to 42, a Hobart Division I season record, eclipsing the mark he set last season (38). He is the first Statesman to record 40 goals in a season since Hall of Famer Bill Miller ’91 scored 47 goals in 1991. Love also raised his point total to 50, joining current Assistant Coach Mark Williamson ’04 as the only Division I Statesmen to produce 50-point seasons. Williamson had 56 (35-21) in 2004.
Junior attackman Cam Stone added a hat trick and senior midfielder Derek Akner scored twice for the Statesmen (6-6). Junior attackman Jake McHenry chipped in a goal and an assist and sophomore midfielder Taylor Vanderbeek recorded two assists.
Trailing 12-9 with 11:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, Hobart rattled off four straight goals to claim its first lead since early in the second quarter. Akner started the comeback at the 7:17 mark, placing a bounce shot just under the crossbar. A little over a minute later, Vanderbeek fed Stone, who buried a shot from the left side of the cage, just above the goal line to make it a 12-11 game.
Hobart pulled even at the 2:21 mark when Vanderbeek fed Akner, who unleashed a low-to-high shot a la Love’s trademark scoring shot. On the ensuing faceoff, the ball squirted out of the scrum at the center X and rolled all the way to Hobart’s attacking zone. Love used his body to box out his defender, scooped up the ball and raced toward the middle of the field. He fired a laser past SU junior goalie Dom Lamolinara for a 13-12 lead.
The Statesmen struggled at the faceoff X (9-of-29) and the Orange (9-3) made Hobart fans sweat when they won the ensuing faceoff. Junior attackman Billy Ward got a clean look at the cage with about a minute remaining, but Zonino took the shot square in the chest. After a Statesmen turnover with about 30 seconds left, SU got one last look, but again Zonino was up to the task, smothering the bounce shot for his 18 stop of the game.
In addition to faceoffs, Syracuse held the advantage in shots (46-29) and ground balls (37-28). Hobart was able to overcome those deficits thanks to Zonino’s sterling play, a strong effort by the man-down unit which held SU to 1-of-5, and a perfect performance by the Statesmen extra-man unit (3-for-3).
The Orange carried a 2-1 lead out of the first quarter, but back-to-back goals by Love and Stone gave the Statesmen their only other lead of the game, 3-2, with 11:50 remaining in the first half. SU rattled off six of the next seven goals to build its largest lead of the game, 8-4. First-year attackman Dylan Donohue scored twice in the surge on his way to a three-goal night.
Hobart got two back before the intermission. Love broke his 2012 season scoring mark on the extra-man at the 2:22 mark of the second quarter with a low-to-high shot. A minute-twenty later, he finished an unsettled situation, quick-sticking a cross-crease pass from McHenry. Syracuse led 10-8 at halftime.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter, leaving the Orange 15 minutes to protect a 10-8 lead. Love scored another man-up goal, this one set up by first-year attackman Matt Opsahl, making it a one-goal game with 13:22 remaining. Syracuse junior attackman Derek Maltz and Donohue scored back-to-back less than a minute apart to set the stage for Hobart’s thrilling comeback.
Sophomore Kevin Rice led SU with four points on a goal and three assists. Maltz and senior midfielder JoJo Marasco each scored twice. First-year midfielder Cal Paduda was 20-of-28 on faceoffs and collected a game-high eight ground balls. Lamolinara made seven saves.
The Statesmen will return to Boswell Field for its final home game of the regular season, hosting eighth-ranked Loyola at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.