The word of the day for the No. 5 Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team was revenge, and they came out hungry.
Syracuse suffered a loss in their 2019 season opener to the Colgate Raiders, and were not going to let that same result happen this time. Sophomore Loyola transfer Chase Scanlan had the greatest debut in Syracuse history as well on Friday evening. His seven goals mark the most a player has ever had in an Orange debut, and also the most by any Orange player since 2015.
SU was in control from start (well, after initially falling behind 1-0) to finish, edging the Raiders in every frame. While Scanlan led the team in scoring, the Orange also had four players score multiple goals. Peter Dearth and Stephen Rehfuss put together memorable performances as each won ground balls and facilitated the offense in an assist role. Dearth made several key strips defensively that led to breakaway opportunities and the ability to attack moving north and south. Additionally, Rehfuss operated as the team’s facilitator, leading the way with a whopping 7 assists, and 19 passes that set up shot attempts. An all around effort offensively shows the reveals the team’s true strength: speed.
Colgate kept it close through the first period, limiting the Orange to just 6:42 of time of possession, and slowed the game down. Syracuse, however, capitalized on an extra-man opportunity early in the second, as Rehfuss drove hard and finished a curl shot that sparked a 5-0 Syracuse run. The Orange used face-offs as a way to run straight into attack mode offensively. Their 64% face off percentage bodes well in the coming weeks, as the schedule will become tougher.
The win also means great things for head coach John Desko, who passes Roy Simmons Sr. for 2nd most wins in Syracuse history. Desko said before today’s game that “this game will be a big indicator as to whether the defense has taken strides since last season’s disappointment.”
While Friday was more about the offense, Desko makes it very clear that if the team wants to contend for a title, they will need to improve defensively.
The Orange enjoyed an emphatic victory over in-state foe Colgate, and hosts Binghamton next Saturday in the Carrier Dome.