First up, two former Syracuse players have been selected to receive awards from the Tewaaraton Foundation. The Tewaaraton Legends Award is presented to one recipient each year who played college lacrosse and who would have received the Tewaaraton Trophy had it existed when they had been playing. This year the Foundation will be honoring former Syracuse Orange Brad Kotz with the Tewaaraton Legends Award. Jeff Harvey, Chairman of the Tewaaraton Foundation, had this to say: "Brad epitomized excellence in an era of dominant lacrosse for Syracuse University. He continues to represent the game, his teammates and the university with great honor and respect." In 1982, Kotz, then a sophomore, put up 42 goals and scored five goals in the second half of the 1982 National Championship where SU came back from a seven goal half-time deficit to beat Johns Hopkins. Kotz is the second former Orange to win the award. Jim Brown received the Tewaaraton Legends Award in 2011.
The 2015 Spirit of the Tewaaraton Award will be given to Chief Oren Lyons. Besides being Chief of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, Lyons also is the Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation. Lyons, an All-American in net while at Syracuse, helped the Orange to its 1952 undefeated season. Mr. Harvey stated that, "Chief Lyons is a living legend whose leadership extends beyond the lacrosse field and exemplifies the Spirit of Tewaaraton. He has made enormous contributions to the game of lacrosse and the Haudenosaunee. As a cultural ambassador and indigenous leader, Chief Lyons' insights have gained attention throughout the globe. His commitment to making the world a better place is inspirational and he has set the standard for future generations through his diverse accomplishments." Former Coach Roy Simmons Jr. is also a former recipient of the Spirit of the Tewaaraton Award and had this to say about Lyons: "Oren embodies everything I believe this award is about. He was a terrific lacrosse player. But more than that, he's a teacher, a mentor, and an ambassador, not just of the game of lacrosse, but of Native American culture. What he's done to raise awareness of indigenous causes and other human rights issues has had an immeasurable impact on our society."
Moving on to this past weekend, Syracuse took on the Hofstra Pride and its division II neighbor, Le Moyne College, on Saturday. After giving up the first goal to the Pride, the Orange went on an 8-0 run before finishing Hofstra 18-8. In the second game versus Le Moyne, Syracuse played its starters for the first quarter getting off to a 6-0 lead and then brought in its reserves who finished the three-period game with a 10-9 win.
The first attack line for the Syracuse Orange dominated, as expected, totaling 14 goals and 13 assists in the two contests combined. Kevin Rice put up 5 goals and 2 assists against Hofstra and 4 goals against Le Moyne.
As for the face-off game, it appears as though Ben Williams, a sophomore transfer from the College of the Holy Cross, will be taking the majority of face-offs this year for Syracuse. As a freshman at Holy Cross, Williams had a .531 face-off win percentage, the 32nd best percentage amongst FOGOs in division I. Against Hofstra Syracuse went 15-28 while Williams took 11-16. Williams put together 6 straight wins to finish the first quarter helping the Orange to go on its 8-0 run. Hofstra's FOGO, Kris Clarke, finished 2014 with a .556 face-off win percentage (25th in D1), but on Saturday Clarke was held to 4-17 against Syracuse. In the second matchup with Le Moyne, Williams went 7-8 and Syracuse finished 16-20.
In net, Bobby Wardwell and Warren Hill split time against Hofstra. Wardwell made four saves against Hofstra while Hill had just two saves, both in the third quarter. Each goalie let up four goals. Hill also played the first period of the Le Moyne game making two saves and allowing no goals. It does not look like we will see a change in goalies yet. Also, don't expect these two to split time in the regular season unless Wardwell begins to falter.
Just as a reminder, the Syracuse Orange will host the Siena Saints in the opening game of the 2015 campaign at 4 pm on Saturday, February 7.