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SU shakes off early surprise, advances in NCAAs

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SYRACUSE — Dylan Donahue scored three goals as top-seeded Syracuse overcame a big early deficit and beat Bryant, 12-7, Sunday night in the first round of the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse tournament at the Carrier Dome.

Kevin Rice finished with two goals and two assists, and Luke Cometti added a pair for the Orange (14-3). Dominic LaMolinara stopped eight shots and 2013 Tewaaraton Award nominee Brian Megill led the Syracuse with four groundballs.

Colin Dunster and Peter McMahon each notched three goals for Bryant (8-11). Gunner Waldt turned aside 11 shots.

Syracuse will take on Yale, which upset No. 8 Penn State 10-7, in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. Saturday in College Park, Md. The winner of that game will face the winner of No. 4 Denver versus No. 5 North Carolina on May 25 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Undaunted in its first tournament appearance and facing a perennial power seeking its 12th national title, Bryant, who made the tournament by winning the Northeast Conference tournament, stunned Syracuse early. Dunster scored twice in the first 39 seconds and McMahon and Shane Morrell followed with goals for a 4-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Syracuse regrouped and Matt Walters capped a three-goal surge with four seconds left in the period. Goals by JoJo Marasco and Donahue in the second knotted the score at five at halftime.

Cometti and Rice scored early in the third to give Syracuse the lead, and the Orange pulled away with goals by Cometti, Rice and Donahue in the final quarter.

The Orange committed only seven turnovers in the game and took advantage of scoring opportunities despite winning only one faceoff the entire game.

Kevin Massa won 22 of 23 faceoffs and scooped up eight ground balls to help keep Bryant in the game. Massa set an NCAA single-season record for faceoff wins with 315 this season.

In other Sunday tournament action, Cornell upset sixth-seeded Maryland, 16-8, behind a 10-goal second half. No. 7 Duke needed two overtimes to put away defending national champion Loyola (Md.), 12-11, and third-seeded Ohio State routed Towson, 16-6.

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