Senior goalie Lamolinara prepares for last NCAA tournament after up-and-down season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Dominic Lamolinara learned the Orange was moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference just as he was starting out at Syracuse in 2011, and quickly ran a scenario through his head.He realized he’d play Maryland, the school he had just transferred from, in his senior year.“Being able to come back to the conference I started in,” Lamolinara said, “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”After beginning his college career as a backup goalie with the Terrapins, Lamolinara leads the No. 2-seed Orange (11-4, 2-3 ACC) into the NCAA tournament for the last time. That is where he’ll help his class — including Billy Ward, Matt Harris, Chris Daddio and five others — try to avoid being the second straight group of seniors to leave Syracuse without a championship ring. SU will play Bryant on Sunday in the Carrier Dome at 7:30 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I’ve been saying this since I got here,” Lamolinara said. “You come to Syracuse to win championships. There’s no pressure on my class to do anything out of the ordinary. Just win.”Lamolinara’s regarded by his teammates as the consummate leader, but his unwavering positivity was challenged this season.The Orange stumbled at the start of its ACC schedule and with Lamolinara and junior Bobby Wardwell splitting time in net, the same set of questions were flung at the senior after every loss.A 16-8 loss to Maryland on Feb. 22. Lamolinara gave up nine goals and was pulled for Wardwell before the end of the first half.Do you think Bobby is going to be the starter from now on?“That’s for the coaches to decide.”A 17-12 loss to Virginia on March 1. Lamolinara played all but 27 seconds and allowed 16 shots to find the back of the net.How do you rebound from a performance like that?“Just have to take it one game at a time.”A 15-14 loss to Notre Dame in the ACC tournament final on April 27. SU head coach John Desko started Wardell for the first time all season before subbing Lamolinara in for the fourth quarter. The senior made two saves at the doorstep to keep the Orange in it, but it was too late.Did it feel weird not starting for the first time this season?“Bob was outplaying me and deserved the start.”Same Lamolinara — ardent and honest.“We thought Bob was playing a little stronger than Dom going down the stretch,” Desko said of the Notre Dame game. “But then Dom got in in the reverse situation and played extremely well.”It’s what Syracuse has come to expect. With Lamolinara and Wardwell shifting in and out of the net all season, the senior has had to explain how the two are best friends — that it’s not a competition but a companionship. That if it means a win, it’s what he and Wardwell are willing to do.The next three weeks are the last of Lamolinara’s collegiate playing career, but not the end of his Syracuse tenure. The senior goalie still needs credits to graduate and plans to return to the team as a student assistant in the fall, but isn’t ready to join the Orange sideline just yet.Now his last chance for a run for an NCAA title begins Sunday, and it may include a meeting with a familiar opponent in the Orange’s quarter of the bracket.If Syracuse and Maryland each advance past the first round, the two will meet in Hempstead, N.Y., with a trip to the final four on the line.“He won’t say it, but that all means a little more to him,” Ward said.Lamolinara has spent a season saying that no game is more important than another. Now Maryland’s in the picture again, and he’s willing to set that aside.“I want another shot at Maryland badly,” he said. “And then I want to go all the way.” Comments Published on May 8, 2014 at 1:00 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesselast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *