No. 2 Orange take early lead and hold off Statesmen, with help from Victor graduate Trimboli, for 17-11 win in Geneva

GENEVA — The offensive options for the Syracuse University men’s lacrosse team are many, which is no no secret.

And while the Hobart Statesmen had plenty of responses during Wednesday night’s game at Boswell Field, they ultimately did not have the answer.

The game Statesmen gave the No. 2-ranked Orange a run for the money, but it was SU that walked away with a 17-11 victory and the Krause-Simmons Trophy for a fourth straight season.

“That was a great game by Hobart,” SU coach John Desko said. “They played really fast and showed a lot of heart.”

Beyond goals, heart is what the Statesmen (4-6) needed for this game played under a clear and chilly evening. The Orange (8-1) took advantage of early miscommunication among the Hobart defenders to take an early 2-0 lead and even after senior Frank Brown put Hobart on the board at 12:50, Jordan Evans had plenty of open space to score SU’s third goal.

The space that SU shooters had was a troubling theme for the Statesmen and even though they corrected it during the course of the game, they already were playing catch-up and would for the rest of the game. And while it’s tough enough to score goals against an aggressive SU unit, having to make up ground taxes the chore even more.

“That was a result of the crowd and the excitement,” Hobart coach Greg Raymond said of the early miscues. “We had a phenomenal warmup and the locker room was fired up. There was no shortage of emotion … and (the mistakes) were simple things that we usually do well, so that was unfortunate.”

Still, Hobart was not a walkover win for the Orange. Bryan Hancock and Eric Holden scored the last two goals of the first quarter to cut SU’s lead to 4-3, but Syracuse responded with three straight to pump its lead to 7-3 early in the second.

Justin Scott and Brown scored consecutive goals to bring Hobart to within 7-5, but again SU kept the Statesmen from gaining too much momentum when Nate Solomon scored, and Penn Yan graduate Brad Voigt scored his eighth of the season to make it a 9-5 game.

In the second half, Hobart pulled to within 9-7 and 13-10, but each time Syracuse used its diverse and explosive offense to squash any hope of a Hobart rally.

“We played a very competitive game,” said Raymond. “We responded to a couple of runs well, but their player of the game has to be their goalie (Evan Molloy, 17 saves). He made a bunch of great saves.”

Brown led the Statesmen with three goals and he was very aware of Molloy’s abilities. The senior keeper stood his ground when it was needed, played the angles and also relied on his quick hands to make other saves. 

“He covered the ground really well,” said Brown, who was part of a Statesmen unit that outshot Syracuse 53-31. “Our job is to shoot the ball regardless of how hot the goalie is. That’s our No. 1 priority, to put the ball in the cage.”

As is usually the case for this rivalry game, the crowd of 1,869 at Boswell Field was split. But even some Hobart fans can be forgiven if they responded positively to at least three of the SU goals. Beyond the Voigt goal, Victor graduate Jamie Trimboli is a freshman midfielder for the Orange and he scored goals at 7:33 and 6:24 to give SU leads of 14-10 and 16-10.

“It’s awesome,” Trimboli said outside the team bus of life in Division I lacrosse. “This is the real deal.”

On March 25, Trimboli scored the overtime winner against Duke for the Orange, the video of which made the rounds on social media. As much as he enjoyed that moment, he’s past it.

“Now you focus on the rest of the season,” he said.

Trimboli took four shots in Wednesday’s game, but didn’t score until late in the game. Learning when and where to shoot is a test of patience.

“You just have to play smart … and know the situation,” he said.

Nick Mariano scored three of his four goals with the extra man for SU, which was 5-for-5 in man-up situations. Nate Solomon also scored four and Brendan Bomberry scored three.

For Hobart, Max Romm scored two goals and Jackson Brown finished with nine saves.