Rebels Win New York Cup
The Albany Rebels held on late and defeated Syracuse 3-9 (18) to 3-5 (14) to win the New York Cup on Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y. Albany last won the New York Cup in 2018, also defeating Syracuse on the road in that final.
The Rebels got off to a bumpy start on Saturday having trouble keeping possession and moving the ball up the field until they scored the first two points of the game. Then Syracuse took a brief 3-2 lead when they scored a goal at the near post.
Albany responded and took control of the match in the first half. Rookie forward Pierre Massena and veteran center back Mark Adam each scored goals and forward John Lake added two beautiful points as the Rebels went into halftime with a 2-6 (12) to 1-2 (5) lead.
What seemed like a comfortable match, given the score and the number of quality scoring chances for the Rebels, quickly vanished in the second half. A Syracuse midfielder got behind the Albany defense and ran onto a long ball. He scored the breakaway goal and provided a big momentum swing.
The second half was very physical on both sides of the ball. A total of six cards were given out for illegal hits and dissent.
With only a minute left in the game, the Rebels held a slim lead and Syracuse was attacking hard, trying to score a goal. It was mayhem in front of the Rebels goal as the Gaels fired shots and the Rebels desperately tried blocking them and clearing the ball.
Eventually the Rebels gained control and the final whistle sounded to give Albany the league trophy.
I'm very proud of the effort the team showed to finish the game off," said Rebels player-coach Ryan Moloney. "Syracuse were mounting yet another comeback, but we buckled down defensively when it mattered and pulled out a big win."
Pierre Massena led all scorers with two goals and four points. Other scorers included Mark Adam (1-0), John Lake (0-2), Ian Maher (0-2) and Tim Gerrish (0-1).
“I was extremely excited to be part of the Rebels win for our first trophy of the season,” Massena said. “The team worked extremely hard and deserved the win, especially with the defensive stand at the end of the game.”
The Gaels hosted the Rebels at a postgame party immediately following the match.
Rebels Notes: The Rebels have 3 wins, 2 loses and a draw in full sided matches this season (1-5 in tournament matches) … The Rebels have won the New York Cup two times (2018 and 2022) … Syracuse won the New York Cup in 2021, the season was canceled in 2020 due to COVID and Buffalo won it in 2019 … This was Albany’s first win against Syracuse since July 20, 2019 (two draws and a loss in that time) … Ryan Moloney leads the Rebels in scoring this season with 4 goals and 17 points (29) … Pierre Massena is second on the team in scoring this season with 6 goals and 9 points (27) … The Rebels return to action when they play in the Midwest Finals the weekend of August 6-7 in Rochester, N.Y.
Pierre Massena 2-4 (10)
Mark Adam 1-0 (3)
John Lake 0-2 (2)
Ian Maher 0-2 (2)
Tim Gerrish 0-1 (1)