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Ben Williams turns in 24-of-27 performance at X, Syracuse holds off Albany in 17-12 win

first_imgBen Williams kneeled down at the faceoff X to start the game. When the referee blew his whistle, Williams clamped down on the ball, gave it a jolt forward, caught it in his stick and streaked down the field.And he won 23 more.Williams kept Albany attacks Seth Oakes and Lyle Thompson at bay by winning faceoff after faceoff. The sophomore won 24-of-27 en route to his best performance of the season. Each faceoff took a burden off the defense, which bent but didn’t break in the No. 2 Orange’s (8-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) 17-12 win over No. 9 Albany (7-2, 3-1 America East) on Thursday night in front of 6,813 in the Carrier Dome.Thompson worked Brandon Mullins with his back to the net and one hand on his stick. He flipped from his right hand to his left, and dropped the ball to Connor Fields, who was standing right behind him. Fields’ shot ran just above the ground and found the bottom left corner of the net to give the Great Danes a 2-0 lead.In the second quarter, Thompson stood face to face with Mullins behind the net. He separated from Mullins by spinning as he moved toward the net. Thompson ran up the left side of the crease and backhanded a shot past SU goalie Bobby Wardwell.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn his wake, Thompson left Mullins to gather himself up off the ground. After the play, Mullins came off the field and Sean Young came in the game. On the next possession Ralph D’Agostino guarded Thompson.While Williams managed to win all nine faceoffs in the first quarter, SU only tied Albany 4-4.SU midfielder Paolo Cifferi held Oakes, who managed to break away, jump with his back to the net and shoot between his legs with his back to Wardwell with about three minutes left in the first half.But the faceoffs finally started making a difference late in the second quarter. SU started to pull away, outscoring the Great Danes 4-1.With about 4:30 left in the third quarter Albany goalie Blaze Riorden was called for a charge when he cleared the ball up the right sideline. SU midfielder Tim Barber took the ball, passed to Kevin Rice, who scored while falling down and Riorden hustled back to the net.Fans booed as Albany head coach Scott Marr motioned to the crowd, who jeered at him. Referees called Marr for an unsportsmanlike conduct and SU was given the ensuing faceoff. The goal capped off a 5-3 third-quarter advantage.To finish off Williams’ night, he and Albany midfielder Harry Erickson started shoving each other on the sideline as they came off the with just over nine minutes left in the game. Syracuse fans leaned in to yell at Erickson.While Williams propped up SU, fans now took his defense and he exited the game to fans serenading Erickson. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonatilast_img

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