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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange set to host former Big East rival Rutgers

We’re using the “former Big East rival” phrase loosely.

Syracuse Athletics

The Syracuse Orange continue their season-opening seven-game homestand Saturday afternoon as they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, a former Big East “rival” inside the Carrier Dome. Opening faceoff is set for 1 PM on ACC Network Extra (Live Stats are here).

The Orange lead the all-time series 41-9 and met every year from 1979 until 2013. Head coach John Desko is 13-3 all-time against the Scarlet Knights.


The Last Game

The Orange started out slow last week against Johns Hopkins. Down 5-1, Syracuse outscored the Blue Jays 13-5 in the final three quarters for a 14-10 win. Jacob Buttermore woke up in the second half with a hat-trick, while Peter Dearth and Brett Kennedy played well on defense and contributed to transition offense.


Last Time They Met

The two teams met for the first time since 2013 last season in Piscataway. For most of the first half and the third quarter, it was a back-and-forth affair as the Orange eventually took an 8-7 lead with 3:26 left in the third. But Rutgers and Jules Heningburg could not be stopped, going on a 7-0 run with Heningburg scoring four goals in that span for a 14-10 win. The senior attackman finished with six goals and two assists.

For the Orange, Brendan Bomberry had a hat-trick, with the final two goals coming in the last 1:20 of the game. Jamie Trimboli had three assists, while Stephen Rehfuss and Nate Solomon had a pair of goals. Brendan Curry also made his first career start and finished with an assist. Brett Kennedy had all three Syracuse caused turnovers.


KNOW YOUR ENEMY: RUTGERS

With the season halfway through, the Scarlet Knights are in must-win territory. They’re 4-3 after a loss to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks Tuesday night. Their best win came against Princeton last Saturday when they scored all nine goals in the first half.

The starting attack is spearheaded by junior Kieran Mullins along with redshirt-sophomore Adam Charalambides. Charalambides has missed the past two seasons due to injuries and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2016. They’re both joined by Ryan Gallagher, who has also seen some time at midfield. Mark Schachte is the fourth attackman.

Similar to the attack, the midfield has had two definite starters in Tommy Coyne and Casey Rose. The third starter has flip-flopped between David Sprock and Michael Sanguinetti. Schachte, Owen Mead, and Brennan Kamish are the second line midfielders. You’ll see Schachte more at midfield than at attack.

On defense, Kyle Pless and Garrett Bullett are the two main starters at close. Jack Thompson has started the last three games after Jack Stahanczyk started the first four games of the year. Garrett Michaeli and Ethan Rall are the two main LSMs, while Cole Daninger, Zackary Franckowiak, and Bobby Russo are the SSDMs.

Rutgers has three main faceoff men. Alex Schoen has been the primary guy in recent games and has gone 45.5% from the X this season. Michael Ott has gone 41.8% on draws. Their top guy Connor Harryman has battled through injuries this season and did not play Tuesday against Lehigh. He went 2-of-2 against Princeton last week and has gone 77.1% on faceoffs this year on 35 draws.

In goal, Max Edelmann is one of the better goalies in the country. The senior helped the Scarlet Knights beat Princeton with an 18 save performance. Freshman Ben Pounds is the backup and started the first two games of the season.


Things To Know

Here’s John Desko’s weekly press conference.

Desko said Grant Murphy was questionable for the game. He injured himself early against Johns Hopkins, and it looked like he rolled his ankle.

Also hear from Drake Porter and Brendan Curry.

Bret Kennedy continues to impress this season on a national stage. More from Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com:

“Brett is one of the most motivated people I know in my life. I knew that he was just going come back stronger as a player, and as a person too. He was just working his butt off every single day,’’ Jack [Kennedy] said.

“It’s always nervous coming back on the field. So I think that took some time. But I definitely got it underneath me. Last year was a good year to help me get back,’’ Brett said. “Coming into this year, I definitely have more confidence. I think just having a year under my belt of being able to get back, and my legs full speed, that definitely helps a lot.’’

Kennedy is one of the fastest players on the Orange, so confidence in his wheels is the foundation of his entire game. He said the SU defense feeds off an edgy, up-tempo tone in practice and takes pride in carrying it over into games.

“I think guys are on top of each other (in practice),’’ he said. “No one’s afraid to yell at each other and push each other and make each other better. I think it’s a pretty cool identity to have. Even in practice, it shows. We’re always getting after the (offensive) guys, always having good battles. And then it translates to game day now. And I think it’s helping us out a lot.’’

There’s a pretty good chance next Sunday’s game against the Duke Blue Devils gets bumped out of the Carrier Dome due to women’s basketball hosting the NCAA Tournament in the Dome. No word on where the game would be played if the Dome is not available. It’ll be televised on ESPNU.

Enjoy the weekend of college lacrosse! There’s a ton of other games this weekend (including Cornell-Yale), so make sure you enjoy what the sport has to offer! And if you want to chat during the game, this will be the place to do it!