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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange clash with Virginia in ACC opener

One of the more competitive rivalries is renewed Saturday afternoon inside the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse Athletics

The Syracuse Orange continue their seven-game homestand and start ACC conference play this afternoon as the Virginia Cavaliers come into the Carrier Dome. Opening faceoff is set for noon on ESPNU with Chris Cotter and Quint Kessenich calling the game (Live Stats are here).

The all-time series is unbelievably close. The Orange lead the all-time series 18-17 by a total score of 452-451. Games have been decided by one goal on 16 occasions, six of which coming in overtime. The last four games have been decided by a goal.

The Last Game

Syracuse won their second straight game with a 10-8 win over the Army West Point Black Knights. Second line midfielder Jacob Buttermore recorded a pair of goals and an assist, while Nate Solomon and David Lipka also recorded two goals. The Orange caused 12 turnovers overall, including three each from Austin Fusco and Nick Mellen, while goalie Drake Porter made 16 saves.

Last Time They Met

After edging the Cavaliers in the regular season meeting, the two teams met again in the ACC semifinals at Klöckner Stadium in late April. After taking a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, Virginia scored the next three goals and took a 6-4 lead early in the third quarter. There, Syracuse and Virginia would exchange goals until the end of the game and the Orange could never find a way to tie up the game. Matt Moore scored four goals and an assist in the win for the Cavaliers, while Michael Kraus scored two goals and three assists, and Dox Aitken had a pair of goals and assists.

For Syracuse, Stephen Rehfuss scored a pair of goals with an assist and Tucker Dordevic also added two goals. However, Danny Varello and Seth DeLisle went a combined 7-of-25 on faceoffs against Virginia’s Justin Schwenk and Luke Brugel. Schwenk went 16-of-23 alone. Dom Madonna made only five saves.


The Cavaliers come into Central New York with a 2-2 record and fresh off a wild 15-14 overtime win over Princeton last Saturday. They’ve alternated between a loss and a win so far this year, with losses coming against Loyola and High Point and wins against Lehigh and Princeton.

Sophomore Matt Moore leads the team in assists (10) and points (19) and is at attack after spending last season at midfield. He joins junior Michael Kraus (7 Gs, 7 As) and fellow sophomore Ian Laviano (11 Gs, 1 A) on that starting unit. Laviano scored four times for the second straight game last week against the Tigers, as well as the overtime winner.

The midfield is anchored by junior Dox Aitken, who has nine goals and two assists on the year. Seniors Mikey Herring (1 A) and two-way midfielder Ryan Conrad (3 Gs, 4 As, 14 GBs, 3 CTs). In the regular season meeting, Conrad and Syracuse LSM Jared Fernandez tore their ACLs and missed the remainder of the season. You have to imagine both players are a little more amped for this game. Other notable midfielders include Jeff Conner (2 Gs, 2 As), Jack Simmons, Regan Quinn, and Griffin Harris.

Logan Greco (8 CTs, 12 GBs) and Kyle Kology (6 CTs, 7 GBs) return at close defense and are joined by freshman Cade Saustad (3 CTs, 13 GBs). Jared Conners (11 CTs, 14 GBs, 1 G) is having a tremendous year as the team’s top LSM and Will Rock (2 CTs, 6 GBs) is a good second option. Along with Conrad, Grayson Sallade, Dave Smith, Matt Dziama, John Fox, and Cory Harris are all short stick defensive midfielders.

Schwenk (14-of 41 FOs, 5 GBs, 2 As) is back as a FOGO, but the main draw taker has been freshman Petey LaSalla (36-of-66 FOs, 15 GBs, 1 G). Both guys should be a challenge for Varello and Jake Phaup. Freshman goalie Patrick Burkinshaw made his collegiate debut against Princeton with a 24 save performance in the overtime win. He started over sophomore Alex Rode.

Things To Know

Here’s John Desko’s weekly press conference.

Bradley Voigt and Brett Kennedy preview the UVA game.

Lindsay Kramer writes on Buttermore’s early success.

“He’s always been right there. This year he’s been given more of an opportunity,’’ said SU coach John Desko. “He’s been producing with the chances he’s had to get on the field. So we’re very happy with what he’s doing right now.’’

Buttermore’s contributions have been essential. Tucker Dordevic is out for the season with a foot injury and fellow middie Lucas Quinn is sidelined at least a couple more weeks with an undisclosed ailment.

”I’m a key player, but it’s the same that it’s been ever since I got here. I’m a midfielder. Nothing’s really going to change,’’ Buttermore said of his potentially increased role. “There should be no more pressure on me. Just go out there and play. There was definitely more pressure beforehand, I think, trying to get on the field. But now that I’m there, (it’s) just playing the game that I know how to play.’’

Of note, Buttermore and Moore were high school teammates at Garnet Valley, outside of Philadelphia. The city’s baseball team just signed Bryce Harper.

Finally, a great feature on Owen Seebold and his fundraiser for MS.

Enjoy the weekend of college lacrosse! There’s a ton of other games this weekend (including Johns Hopkins-Princeton), so make sure you enjoy what the sport has to offer!

With men’s basketball also playing at noon today, there will be a combined game thread. So head over there to interact.