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Syracuse women’s lacrosse survey: Gary Gait isn’t going anywhere... ever

Nearly everyone’s on board the Gary Gait train, forever, it seems.

Northwestern v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Given this year’s extended offseason, we’ve been looking for ways to both generate coverage ideas AND get a better read on what Syracuse fans are thinking. That led to surveys about various Syracuse Orange sports. We potentially concluded that exercise with women’s lacrosse.

We wound up with over 40 responses from all of you, telling us what you think of Gary Gait and the Orange, the outlook for the future and how 2020 would’ve gone had the season finished as plans.

Thanks for your answers, and if you have another survey you’d like to see from us, let us know in the comments.

Do you approve of the job Gary Gait’s doing as head coach? (not just in terms of wins and losses)

Gait’s made seven Final Fours, but has never taken home a title. He’s also one of the best Orange men’s lacrosse players in program history. These things may or may not have anything to do with whether you approve or disapprove of the job he’s doing as coach, but I feel like they may. Nearly 98% of you approve of how Gait’s doing.

What is your outlook for Syracuse women’s lacrosse’s future?

Not a single pessimistic response to be had. That’s a reflection of the job Gait’s done, the program’s reasonable history of success since 1998 and the fact that many are content with a lack of a title if SU remains in contention for one. One would think that would change over time, but we’ll see.

Would Syracuse have won the national championship if the 2020 season had been played in full?

In case you forgot, Syracuse was 7-1 when the season wrapped up, including wins over Northwestern and Maryland, and a one-goal loss to Stony Brook. They weren’t the overwhelming BEST TEAM in the same way people viewed the men’s team’s incomplete season. However, they were on the short list of serious title contenders. Over 64% of you felt like SU as the best of the teams on that short list.

When does Gary Gait need to make his next Final Four by, in order to avoid the hot seat?

This was the most interesting response to me. Apparently, Gait could never make another Final Four and he’s safe, according to half of respondents. Also curiously, 26.2% of you say that he has two years to make a Final Four in order to avoid the hot seat. Seems like two very different lines of thought.

What should be the annual expectation for Syracuse women’s lacrosse?

Again, interesting to see this sort of response given previous responses. Nearly 85% of you think SU should be in the Final Four every year, yet 50% of you say Gait’s safe if he never makes another Final Four.

Would you prefer Gary Gait coached the men’s lacrosse team instead?

This question only comes from the men’s lacrosse survey response that indicated a lot of you (nearly half) felt that Gait would be the best replacement for John Desko should Desko no longer coach SU. Curious what the 38.1% of people who responded above they’d rather Gait coached the men’s lacrosse team think about Desko. If Gait wasn’t the coach of the women’s team, who would be? Is the desire to have him coach the men motivated by dislike of Desko? Things I’d love to know...

Which is the next season Syracuse will reach at least the Final Four?

Lot of faith here, since 76.2% of you feel that SU’s in the Final Four next season. Not surprising given the responses that preceded it.

Best Syracuse player ever…

Lot of Kayla Treanor fans above, since 71.4% of you think she’s the best Orange player of all-time (and you’re well within your rights to think so). Katie Rowan got the largest portion of the remaining votes (16.7%), and that also tracks.

Name one thing you’d change about the Syracuse women’s lacrosse program if you could:

Very few of these open-ended responses seemed to think that SU’s women’s lacrosse team needs a lot of change on the field. Some push for consistency and others hope for defensive improvement. Otherwise, most want more fans in attendance and better marketing around the team.

Who is the best player on Syracuse’s current roster?

Another overwhelming favorite here, Emily Hawryschuk gets over 83% of the vote (again, not shocking given her 39 goals and seven assists after just eight games this past season. Some support for the other players above, though no love for goalkeeper Asa Goldstock?

Where does women’s lacrosse rank for you in terms of importance among Syracuse sports?

Since admittedly there were fewer respondents to this survey than the others, it’s tough to gauge how representative these results are of the full fan base. Obviously people are more likely to care a lot about WLAX if they respond to this survey, so that may be why nearly 20% of you had the sport first, second or third in term of importance for Orange sports you follow. A good 31% had women’s lacrosse fourth, while another 33.3% had them fifth. SU women’s lacrosse is pretty high on the list for a lot of respondents, it seems.