SYRACUSE, N.Y. ?? The 13th-ranked Orange (0-0), winners of three straight BIG EAST championships, host America East foe Albany (0-0) Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Carrier Dome in the season opener for both teams. The clash is the second game of a college lacrosse doubleheader at the Dome. The second-ranked SU women's lacrosse team hosts No. Maryland at 1 p.m.Tickets are available online at SUathletics.com, over the phone (1-888-DOMETIX), or in person at the Carrier Dome Box Office during normal business hours. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 12 and under. 'Cuse Kids Club members get in free with their membership card. Parking is $10.Syracuse posted a 9-8 overall record in 2012 and made its 32nd NCAA Tournament appearance, losing on the road in the first round to third-seeded Duke. The Great Danes were 5-11 a year ago and went 3-2 in America East Conference play.SEASON-OPENING SUCCESSSU owns an all-time record of 75-18 (.806) in season-opening games. It is 34-9 in campaign starters since 1970 and has won 16 straight, including all 14 under head coach John Desko. The Orange defeated Albany (12-7) in last year's season opener.COMETTI FACES FORMER MATESSyracuse senior midfielder Luke Cometti (Syracuse, N.Y.) is certainly familiar with the Albany program. Cometti played the 2009 and 2010 seasons for the Great Danes before deciding to transfer to Syracuse for the 2011-12 academic year. At Albany, Cometti tallied 11 goals and six assists in 21 career games. He was named to the 2009 America East Conference All-Rookie Team.FAST FEBRUARY STARTSSyracuse is 19-2 all-time in the month of February. Army and Virginia are the only two teams to beat the Orange in the second calendar month. The Black Knights posted an 8-6 victory against SU in 2007 and the Cavaliers bested the Orange (13-12) in 2009.SEVEN STARTERS BACK IN THE FOLDThe Orange returns seven starters from last year's team, Of note:? Preseason honorable mention attackman Derek Maltz (Ashburn, Va.) led SU in goals last season with 28 ?| He ranked sixth in the BIG EAST in goals per game (1.65) and was fourth in man-up goals per game (0.53) ?| Maltz registered eight multi-goal games, including four hat tricks.? Senior JoJo Marasco (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) was second on the 2012 squad with 19 assists, the most helpers for an Orange midfielder since Josh Coffman had 25 in 2000 ?| Marasco had a point in 16-of-17 games last season and earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors ?| He is the Orange's active leader scoring leader with 89 points (44 goals, 45 assists).? Brian Megill (Clark, N.J.) David Hamlin (New Hartford, N.Y.) and Brandon Mullins (Coppell, Texas) formed SU's trio of close defensemen for the second half of last season ?| Megill (10), Hamlin (17) and Mullins (9) combined for 36 starts last year ?| The group combined for 116 ground balls and caused 64 turnovers in 2012 ?| Megill is the 2013 co-BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and an Inside Lacrosse Preseason First Team All-American.? Sophomore goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell (Clifton Park, N.Y.) started the final nine games of 2012 ?| He was named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team after making 19 saves and allowing 12 goals versus Villanova and St. John's ?| Wardwell totaled 83 saves and an 8.85 season goals-against average.HARRIS AMONG LONG POLE SCORING LEADERSJunior Matt Harris (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) has four goals and five assists in his career which places him among the national leaders in career points by an active long pole. Harris is tied with Detroit's Jordan Houtby for ninth on that list. Bryant's Mason Poli leads the nation in long pole scoring with a whopping 42 points (32 goals, 10 assists).Harris had two goals and four assists last season, including one goal and one assist in SU's NCAA Tournament loss to Duke.SCOUTING THE GREAT DANESAlbany is coming off a 5-11 campaign, including a 3-2 mark in the America East Conference. Despite their record, the Great Danes nearly qualified for the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the league championship game before being eliminated. This season, the America East coaches picked the Great Danes to win the league ahead of Stony Brook and UMBC.The Albany offense relies heavily on the Thompson trio. Brothers Miles, a second-team all-league selection, and Lyle Thompson and their cousin Ty, combined for over 50 percent of the Great Dane's scoring output in 2012, scoring 90 goals and dishing out 52 assists. Miles was second on the club in scoring last season behind the departed Joe Resetarits with 60 points (35 goals, 25 assists). Ty (33 goals, 11 assists) chipped in with 44 points and Lyle (22 goals, 16 assists) added 38.Sophomore Max Huber is the team's likely starter in goal. Huber played in 12 games last season and made 89 saves. He is the only goalie on the 2013 Albany roster that saw any game action in 2012.Head coach Scott Marr is entering his 13th season with the Great Danes. Marr owns an overall record of 95-90. Under his direction, Albany has won four America East titles and reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2007. For his efforts, Marr was named the 2007 USILA Division I Coach of the Year.THE SERIES WITH ALBANYThe Orange has won all 10 meetings with the Great Danes. The two schools have played every season since 2004, including twice that year as SU and Albany also met in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. All 10 pairings have taken place at the Carrier Dome and SU has scored at least 10 goals in each contest. The 2005 and 2006 meetings were the most competitive with Syracuse emerging as one-goal victors both times.UP NEXT ...The Orange will host Patriot League opponent Army on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won last year's meeting, 10-9.
Courtesy: SU Athletics