Desko reflects on game one
It's a bit early in the season for John Desko to smile about his team's play - but an 8 goal first quarter capped by an impressive spurt that produced 8 goals in the first 11:35 of the game and 2 goals in the first 53 seconds impressed the veteran head man.
"We got off to a good start, we put some points up early and as a result, the rest of our team got more comfortable and more confident as the game went on. We played a new team in the Carrier Dome that isn't really comfortable or hasn't had a chance to get comfortable yet," said Desko.
The Orange never gave the Pioneers an opportunity to get comfortable. Jovan Miller came around the left edge after the Orange won the opening faceoff, beating goalie Peter Lowell to make it 1-0.
The Orange won the second faceoff, with Kevin Drew collecting a pass and firing a shot off the right edge to make it 2-0 at the 14:07 mark.
The Orange's most impressive play of the dramatic first quarter came at the 3:31 mark. Josh Amidon collected a Jeremy Thompson pass and fired it past Lowel to make it 7-2. Junior transfer Jeremy Thompson would collect his first career goal after winning the faceoff, hustling down the field, and firing a shot low to high, making the game 8-3 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter. That would spell the end of the road for Lowell, who was replaced by backup Zander Buteux from there on.
The offense played a slightly more conservative game after Lowell's departure, holding the ball on most possessions and avoiding the embarassing blowout in Denver head coach Bill Tierney's first game. Tierney made the move west this past summer after leading Princeton for several years.
John Galloway made 11 saves in just over 3 quarters, showcasing experience and skill most doubted heading into the year. Al Cavalieri would give up the last four Denver goals, silencing any doubt that Galloway's job is in question.
"I think (junior goalkeeper) John Galloway played well again tonight. He showed that he is older and wiser, more experienced. When he did have the opportunity, he was able to shut the door," said Desko.
Desko also made light of the trip that Denver made to Syracuse. Denver is one of very few lacrosse programs west of the Mississippi River. Stanford and Cal have womens' teams, among others. Stanford, as it would be, plays in the dome Sunday against Syracuse.
"It is great for the game of lacrosse that Denver came here to play. They have a great coaching staff and played well tonight."
Another sight that surely made Desko smile - the amount of players in the scoring column. Pete Coleman, Spenser Parnell, Jojo Marasco, and Jeremy Thompson all scored their first career goals. Cody Jamieson would put four past the two Denver goalies, but the Orange showed they may have ten or more players that can score. The Orange befuddled defenses last season with many scoring options on their way to their 11th title.
"I'd much rather have a team that has a number of people scoring on it than one or two players making all of the points. We become that much harder to cover. It was great to have a number of the young guys get in some scoring positions and we really need to build on that," said Desko.
The Orange take the field for the next time next Friday night at Army. The Black Knights were one of the few holdovers on the Orange schedule from last season, after Syracuse moved into the new Big East Conference.
Starting close defenseman John Lade didn't play due to a reported thigh injury. Brandon Conlin started alongside Matt Tierney and freshman Brian Megill.