The Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team played against other teams for the first time since the fall. The Orange hosted their annual three-way scrimmages inside the Ensley Center on Saturday with the Vermont Catamounts, who replaced Division II Le Moyne, and the Hofstra Pride. Both scrimmages were three quarters in length and were not open to the public.
In the first scrimmage, Cuse tied with the Catamounts 11-11. Per Syracuse’s official release and Syracuse.com’s recaps of the scrimmages, sophomore midfielder Brendan Curry recorded three goals and two assist. Junior midfielder Jamie Trimboli had a pair of goals and assists, redshirt junior attackman Stephen Rehfuss provided with a goal and two assists, and senior attackman Bradley Voigt scored twice. Nate Solomon, Owen Seebold, and freshman Griffin Cook scored in the scrimmage as well.
The chemistry looked strong early between Rehfuss and Voigt.
Junior goaltender Drake Porter made five saves in the first two quarters, while redshirt sophomore Luke Strang made two saves. Junior Danny Varello had an impressive game at the faceoff X, going 12-of-14 on draws. Sophomore Jake Phaup went 7-of-10.
The Orange then dominated Hofstra, 12-5. The Pride ran with many of their backups, while Syracuse saw a mix of their starters in early before using some of their depth. Rehfuss (3 Gs, 2 As) and Voigt (2 Gs, 2 As) had multi-point affairs. Goals came from Cook, Seebold, Trimboli, Jacob Buttermore, Pat Carlin, Andrew Kim, and Justin Kim. Curry, Solomon, Peter Dearth, and Matt Magnan added assists.
Porter made four saves and allowed three goals in a quarter and a half. Willie Klan and Nate McPeak each made four saves and gave up a goal in relief. Varello went 6-of-8 on faceoff draws, while Phaup went 2-of-4.
Here’s part of Desko’s post-scrimmage press conference.
- Midfielders Tucker Dordevic and David Lipka didn’t play on Saturday. Dordevic suffered a foot injury in the fall and is still recovering from that. Head coach John Desko said Dordevic’s status for Saturday’s final scrimmage against Yale is unknown, but hopes he’ll play in the season-opener against Colgate. Lipka suffered a minor injury in practice but should be back soon.
- More personnel news: The Orange will be without two defenders for the entire season. Sophomore defensive midfielder Dami Oladunmoye was declared academically ineligible for the season, while junior defenseman Jerry Staats, a transfer from Onondaga Community College, suffered a season-ending injury.
- The Orange are deep at attack with five guys that will probably get notable playing time. Desko also mentioned Jake Nelson as a guy that’s stood out in practice. One notable nugget was Cook playing attack and midfield in the scrimmages. I’m not surprised to see one of the attackmen getting some runs at midfield, but was a little surprised that it was Cook. Rehfuss also got some runs at midfield early in the Hofstra scrimmage from those I’ve heard from. That could just be experimentation.
- Varello had a solid day at the faceoff X, going 18-of-22 total on the day. He’s worked on improving his game in the summer and fall, and physically gaining 20 pounds of muscle during the summer. He’ll have a difficult test on Saturday when he faces Yale and TD Ierlan, formerly of Albany.
- Back when Desko held his first press conference of the 2019 season, he mentioned Porter having the slight edge over the other goalies on the team. Porter started both scrimmages and appears to still be the favorite to emerge as the top netminder when the Orange host Colgate on February 8.
- As with most preseason games in other sports, it’s best to ignore the outcome of most of these scrimmages, especially three-way contests. As mentioned, Hofstra used many of their backups in their go-around with Cuse. In their scrimmage before, it was Vermont who used plenty of their backups against Hofstra’s top guys and as you might expect, Hofstra won.
The main top 20 polls have been released. Here’s where Syracuse ranks:
- Inside Lacrosse Media: 10
- College Crosse: 10
- US Lacrosse Magazine: 12
- USILA: 11 (They had Cuse at 10 but also forgot Loyola, so probably 11 when they add Loyola?)
This year, I have a vote in the IL Media poll. I also put the Orange at 10. They were originally out of the top 10 before Ryder Garnsey was deemed academically ineligible.
Up next for the Orange is their final scrimmage of the season Saturday against the defending national champion Yale Bulldogs. As with the scrimmages this past weekend, the Yale scrimmage will be closed to the public at the Ensley Athletic Center. Syracuse opens their season against the Colgate Raiders on February 8 inside the Carrier Dome.