May 15, 2011

Syracuse Nullifies Neufeld, Eliminates Siena

from press releases

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Top-seeded Syracuse defeated MAAC champion Siena 10-4 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday at the Carrier Dome. Junior Tommy Palasek led the Orange with five points, including a career-best four assists.

With the victory, the Orange (15-1) improved to 9-2 in first-round NCAA games and advanced to the quarterfinal round for 29th time. Syracuse will face Maryland on Sunday, May 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Terrapins moved on by beating eighth-seeded North Carolina, 13-6, earlier Sunday.

Tom Morr and the Saints kept things interesting for a while Sunday night, but in the end Syracuse was simply too much to overcome.

The Orange outshot Siena 51-22, but the stubborn Saints remained within striking range until the final minutes.

The game was eerily similar to the 11-4 setback Siena suffered in this building two years ago in its only other NCAA appearance. The Saints trailed just 4-2 at halftime thanks to Morr, who had 12 of his career-high 19 saves before intermission. The SU lead was just 6-2 entering the final quarter, when Morr and the Saints reluctantly gave in.

The Orange put an end to the nation's longest consecutive-game scoring streak, holding Siena's leading scorer Brian Neufeld scoreless for the first time in his college career, and to just one shot.

JoJo Marasco led Syracuse's attack with three goals.

Siena's first two goals came from unlikely sources. Defensive midfielder Marquis Terrell finished a Kevin Cotter feed with 26 seconds left in the first, and long pole Brendan Meehan rifled home a 20-yard dart off the opening faceoff in the second quarter to tie the game at 2-2. Palasek scored just over a minute later and Syracuse led the rest of the way.
Siena finished its most successful season in program history with a 13-5 overall record. The Saints captured the MAAC regular-season and postseason championship for the second time in three years, and the 13 victories marked a program record. Siena entered the game ranked 20th in the USILA Poll - its first national ranking ever. It doesn't figure to be the last, as Morr returns along with six key starters next season.

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