Maryland's Connor Cannizzaro cradles the ball as Syracuse's… (Mark Konezny / USA Today…)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Maryland scored eight goals over a four-minute stretch in the second quarter, turning a two-goal deficit into a six-goal lead as the No. 11 Terps upset No. 2 Syracuse, 16-8, on Saturday in the teams' first — and last — regular-season meeting as Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
Many of the 5,283 inside the Carrier Dome watched in near-silence as the reigning national runner-up got demolished. Even Maryland coach John Tillman was "shocked" by the final score.
"This doesn't happen very often, so we understand that," Tillman said, "and these guys will take it for what it is."
For a while, it looked as though Syracuse (2-1, 0-1 ACC) would control its home turf, as it has over the years and as it had this season.
The Orange started the game on a tear, bursting out to a 3-1 lead behind goals by freshman attackmen Kevin Rice and Dylan Donahue and freshman midfielder Henry Schoonmaker.
In the second quarter, though, Maryland (3-0, 1-0) dominated. Junior attackman Jay Carlson (St. Paul's) started the barrage with a shot from just outside the crease, cutting Syracuse's lead to 4-3 with 10:27 to go in the half.
Sophomore midfieflder Henry West scored from the left side just 46 seconds later to even the score. The Terps didn't trail again.
Maryland went on to win 19 of 27 faceoffs and outshoot Syracuse 55-32. After nearly every Terps goal, junior faceoff specialist Charlie Raffa would control the ensuing draw, and Maryland would score again.
Raffa exploited Syracuse's main weakness from a season ago. The Orange made the national championship game in 2013 but lost to Duke when a season-long issue at the faceoff X became too much to overcome.
"Charlie got into a pretty good groove," Tillman said, "and any time you can get possessions, it just allows you to get into a rhythm offensively and, at times, make the other team uncomfortable."
After West's goal, freshman attackman Connor Cannizzaro scored just 50 seconds later. Maryland got three goals in a mere 2:36, and that was just the beginning.
Syracuse sophomore midfielder Chris Daddio was called for a faceoff penalty after Cannizzaro's goal, which put the Orange a man down. Cannizzaro capitalized, scoring his second goal in 28 seconds and Maryland's fourth in just over two minutes.
The Terps added six more goals in the rest of the quarter, holding a commanding 12-5 lead at halftime.
"Not much to say, other than my hat's off to Maryland," Syracuse coach John Desko said. "I thought they really handled the pressure of coming in the Carrier Dome extremely well."
Despite the pregame hype and Syracuse's dominant offensive showings in its first two games, Maryland never looked fazed. Even when the Orange jumped out to an early, two-goal lead, the Terps remained steadfast and capitalized on their chances around the net.
"I think the best thing about today is that we can't play any worse all around as a team," Syracuse's Rice said. "It's never one guy or one position's fault. If somebody's having a down day, then the rest of the team has to step up and not play poorly also."
Rice said Syracuse was sloppy defensively and acknowledged that the Orange will need to play substantially better going forward.
Maryland, meanwhile, played a nearly flawless game, and its offense came from a variety of sources.
Cannizzaro and Carlson both scored three goals, and freshman attackman Matt Rambo, senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk and Raffa all added two.
Raffa helped Maryland dominate possession the entire game. Late in the second quarter, he beat junior midfielder Mike Iacono on a faceoff. Seven seconds later, the ball was in the net, with Raffa having taken on Syracuse's defense alone before scoring.
While Maryland piled on goal after goal, Syracuse's offense remained stagnant. A team that had racked up a combined 36 goals in its first two games was stymied Saturday.
"We watched the Siena game and their offense was really, really prolific. They were really opportunistic," Tillman said of the Orange's season-opening, 19-7 win. "I thought that we learned a few things and picked up a few things that we don't want to allow them to do."
NOTES: Syracuse junior attackman Nicky Galasso, who missed the team's first two games with an upper-body injury and all of last season with a foot injury, played for the first time as a member of the Orange. He took three shots, but none were on goal. ... Maryland senior goalkeeper Niko Amato, who entered the game with the best save percentage in the ACC (71.4), saved 11 of 19 shots. ... Facing his old team for the first time, Syracuse goalie Dominic Lamolinara gave up nine goals before being pulled in the first half. ... Maryland finished with 36 ground balls, while Syracuse had just 17.