Geneva, NY – It was his first time participating in the century-old rivalry between Syracuse and Hobart, but Randy Staats played like he'd been waiting to reclaim the Kraus-Simmons Trophy his entire life. With five goals and three assists, Staats lead the way for the Orange to take back the Kraus-Simmons Trophy in the 100th matchup between the two teams.
And if there was any doubt that Staats and the Orange would cede the trophy again to Hobart—memories of last year's meltdown fueled both sides—Staats made sure to remind the Statesmen that the no. 4 Orange meant to take back the trophy after a Hobart turnover turned into a 40-yard assist from Staats to Dylan Donahue. Twenty-one seconds later Donahue scored the go-ahead point, 9-8, and Syracuse never relinquished its lead.
"I got the ball there. I knew there was thirty seconds left. I'd seen Dylan standing, wide open, and I just threw up a prayer and it got to him," Staats said.
That momentum change was needed, as the Orange started shakily enough. Hobart showed up to keep the trophy, and it was evident; in front of almost 3,000 fans at Boswell Field, Taylor Vanderbeek scored on Dominic Lamolinar two minutes into the first quarter. Kevin Rice and Randy Staats answered, giving Syracuse a brief lead toward the end of the first quarter before Cooper Stefaniak scored the equalizer.
Syracuse would not lead again until Staat's half-field assist to Donahue at the end of the third. The Orange pulled away after Donahue's go-ahead point, with UNC hero Billy Ward charting more late-game heroics with two goals in the fourth and Staats recording another goal and a couple of assists.
Hobart showed up with passion and energy to retain the trophy in the historic 100th meeting between the two teams, and fought hard in their loss.
Coach Desko was quick to point that out: "It didn't feel like a 15-9 game. Hobart was a team that came out, fired up and ready to play, and they had the crowd behind them. Hats off to their coaching staff who did a really good job, and their players who came to play."
The Orange will face Duke next weekend in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Chester, Pennsylvania, and hope that the score looks markedly different than the 21-7 defeat at the hands of the Blue Devils on March 23.