First up is some good news for the Syracuse Orange lacrosse team; Randy Staats has been ruled academically eligiblefor the spring. Staats had been ruled ineligible for the fall and although he was able to practice with the team he had to sit out two fall ball scrimmages. The Six Nations native played for the Iroquois National Team this past summer and chose to take his summer class in the fall, making him ineligible for the fall. Staats will be joined by Dylan Donahue and Kevin Rice on what should be one of the most dangerous attack lines in the country.
Every year the college lacrosse season seems to begin earlier and earlier. For a cold weather school like Syracuse this creates a problem for the spring season teams. If a team can't practice, the on-field product suffers. In 2014, this was precisely the situation. During the early portion of the season the Orange had massive issues on clears. SU finished 2014 ranked 38th in clearing percentage amongst all division I schools. Here's the problem, when there is snow covering the outdoor fields and the Carrier Dome is set up for basketball, there is very minimal opportunity to practice clearing, which really requires a full field. After the 2014 UVA game Coach Desko said this:
"We haven't had a full field this year, so we expect the clearing to be a little rough at times..."
Desko was referring to having a full field to practice on. The Virginia game took place on March 1, 2014; Syracuse's schedule began on February 10. That means that the Orange played Siena, #10 Albany, #7 Maryland and #4 Virginia without having practiced their clearing game with a full field.
Fortunately the situation seems to have been remedied by the completion of the brand new indoor practice facility. The lacrosse team will share the space with the football team throughout the spring, and will get into the facility for the first time on Tuesday for condition tests and then begin practicing on Wednesday.