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Syracuse men’s lacrosse vs. Virginia on season’s penultimate weekend

Who’s ready to play for pride? Hopefully the Orange, today at 4 PM on ESPN U.

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

While their postseason hopes ended in last weekend’s crushing loss to North Carolina, the season does still march on for the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team.

Two weeks to go, with only pride to play for.

This week, the Orange play host to the Virginia Cavaliers for the second meeting between the two this season. The Cavs smoked SU in the first matchup back in February, 20-11.

After ‘Cuse won both matchups last season, UVA is looking to do the same this year and once again even up the all-time series at 20 wins apiece.

For Syracuse, I’m most interested to see if we can get some solid play from our young players who figure to play a role for next year’s team, hopefully generating some positive vibes heading into the offseason.

There’s a handful of young players on this defense who we want to see play with more consistency and better communication, guys like Saam Olexo, Nick Caccamo, Landon Clary, Brandon Aviles, Carter Rice, Max Rosa, and Bobby Gavin and Harrison Thompson in goal.

Everyone I just listed is either a sophomore or a freshman, meaning most if not all of them are likely to play important roles of some level moving into next season. Most of them have also gotten meaningful playing time in their college careers for the first time this season, which means there’s plenty of room to grow as they get more and more experience, both individually and as a unit. We’ve seen flashes of positivity from all of them, as well, but now we want to see it with more consistency.

The same is true on offense of guys like Tyler Cordes, Matteo Corsi, Jackson Birtwistle, and Mikey Berkman, among others. They’ve all garnered opportunities this season due to injuries in front of them, but who can make enough of a mark to warrant playing time for next season when guys like Owen Hiltz, Joey Spallina, and Carter Kempney enter the fray? This is their chance to prove themselves.

Postseason or not, we always want to see a win every time Syracuse lacrosse steps onto the field, so hopefully we’ll see a good effort today in a difficult matchup with the No. 6 ranked Cavaliers.