SYRACUSE | It had never happened before.
Until Miles Thompson took a feed from his brother, Lyle, and scored with 3:03 left to play in the second overtime the University at Albany had never beaten its bigger and more famed lacrosse older brother program about three hours to the west of the Great Danes’ campus in the capital.
Now, things are different.
The goal by Miles Thompson gave the University at Albany Great Danes its first-ever program win over the No. 13 Syracuse University Orange at the Carrier Dome on Sunday, 16-15.
“Finally,” UAlbany head coach Scott Marr said simply.
Before the the winning score, Syracuse held the ball for the start of the second overtime, nearly all of the first extra period, and the majority of the final five minutes of regulation.
“We knew all we needed was one shot,” Marr said. “We just needed the ball.”
“At the end of regulation I had a shot and I missed, I thought I ble it there,” Lyle Thompson said. “I was mad at myself, but all overtime our goalie was making saves (Blaze Riorden made 13 saves). I told myself, ‘Just one more chance and we are putting this ball in.’”
“That is what I said to myself,” Miles Thompson said. “All I needed was one chance. That is all we needed. They were taking like 10 shots and I was like, ‘Just give me one chance.’
UAlbany jumped out to a 4-0 lead at the start of the evening and took a 13-9 advantage early in the second half before the Orange rallied with a 5-2 fourth quarter. Nine Oranges scored on the night as JoJo Marasco and Dylan Donahue both had three goals. Marasco had five assists. His eight points were the most in a single game since 1999. Bobby Wardwell made seven saves in the loss.
“We had to come back a couple of times and there were people that were looking at the clock that might have thought there wasn’t enough time,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “It was a challenge for us. We had some great looks too. We had the great looks in overtime and the first one in the second overtime. They were just that little bit better.”
The Great Danes were led by Miles and Lyle Thompson along with their cousin Ty as the trio combined for 8 points and 10 of Albany's goals. Miles had three goals and two assists. Lyle finished with a team-high eight points (two goals, six assists) and Ty notched five goals.
The two teams combined for 92 shots (47 for SU, 45 for UAlbany), but the Orange had a 6-2 shot advantage in sudden death overtime.
“I thought their attack was really special. I almost questioned moving Lyle (Thompson) from midfield to attack early on. He played really well. I could tell by the amount of assists he had that it was a great move. He obviously plays well with his brother (Miles) and his cousin (Ty). I thought they were spectacular tonight,” Syracuse head coach Desko said.
The Great Danes were 0-10 over the past decade against the Orange which has 11 all-time NCAA national championship titles. It was the first time SU opened the season with a loss since 1996.
Albany travels to Drexel on Saturday.
SU hosts Army Sunday at the Carrier Dome.