The Syracuse Orange have enjoyed long rivalries with the Cornell Big Red and Colgate Raiders but there’s an increased chance that the Orange might be joined at the Division One level by neighboring Le Moyne College. The Dolphins are exploring a move to D1 in part due to the success of the St. Peter’s Peacocks this March.
At one time the Le Moyne baseball and women’s lacrosse teams were part of the MAAC but when the conference instituted a requirement that schools had to have all their sports at the D1 level, Le Moyne dropped those down to D2. It’s not just the success of St. Peter’s that has the Dolphins considering the move. Le Moyne is often competing with schools such as Siena, Canisius and Niagara for students and offering D1 sports to participate in (or watch) can be a deciding factor.
If Le Moyne ends up making the move up and joins the MAAC or Northeast 10, what might that mean for Syracuse? Obviously it would make sense for the two schools to face each other in the non-conference portion of many sports. The Orange basketball programs often face the Dolphins in exhibition games (you probably remember the 2009 MBB game) so you could certainly see Jim Boeheim and Felisha Legette-Jack adding Le Moyne to their rotation of New York schools appearing on early season schedules.
Lacrosse schedules might not allow for annual meetings but we think the Dolphins and Orange would match up in scrimmages in Fall and Spring. It’s lacrosse where Le Moyne could have the greatest impact on Syracuse with a D1 move as they would become another viable competitor for local recruits. That’s something to keep an eye on as potential walk-ons at Syracuse could find scholarship opportunities on Salt Springs Rd.
Olympic sports such as softball, volleyball and soccer would likely find early-season match-ups appealing as there would be no major time or travel challenges. In fact our #branding group has already started pitching ideas for #SaltCityDerby merchandise as there is a pretty good opportunity for green, white and orange gear around this area. It’d also be fun to have schools with the ability to bus students to an away game in the same city to give some of these games a boost in atmosphere.
Most importantly, a LeMoyne move to D1 could allow us to create an OrangeDolphin trophy competition.....