The transformation of the 2023 Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse roster is continuing this summer as, late last week, it was announced that two more players are coming to SU via the transfer portal.
Senior goalie Will Mark and graduate student SSDM Jake Murphy are moving upstate from Long Island University, where they have been teammates for the past three seasons.
On Friday, former @LIUMLAX All-American goalie Will Mark announced his decision to transfer to @CuseMLAX. He’ll join teammate and standout SSDM Jake Murphy in the Dome. Two more big additions for the Orange. pic.twitter.com/5ZEeLS84wY— Ty Xanders (@tyxanders) July 2, 2022
Both players are notable additions to the Orange defense, but Mark profiles as the headliner due to his prior accolades and the fact that he plays such an important position of need for this program.
Mark, a 6’3” native of California, excelled between the pipes during his LIU career, earning honorable mention All-American honors in each of the past two seasons. He was also named the Northeast’s conference’s Defensive Player of the Year both seasons, as well.
It’s no surprise that his numbers reflect his accolades. In his three years at LIU, Mark compiled an impressive save percentage of .557 and averaged over 15 saves per game in 33 career games. That’s a level of consistency that was sorely missing for the Orange last season.
SU is still searching for the heir to Drake Porter after a back-and-forth season between Bobby Gavin and Harrison Thompson. Gavin has now gone back into the portal, so Mark’s arrival is an extremely welcome addition to an obviously critical position that has been lacking a clear answer.
While Mark may be the headliner, Jake Murphy is a strong piece to add to the defensive puzzle for ‘Cuse in his own right. Murphy appeared in every game the last two years for LIU as a SSDM, compiling 52 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in 26 games.
He’s a seasoned veteran who is going to add a much needed dose of experience and leadership to the defensive midfield, and should immediately factor into the SSDM rotation alongside Brandon Aviles and Carter Rice, among others.
Mark and Murphy join Denver’s Alex Simmons and Lehigh’s Cole Kirst as the four players the Orange have added via the transfer portal so far this offseason. Crucially, all of them are veterans with at least three years of college experience under their belts as they join ‘Cuse for 2023.
Their presence is going to be paramount for an Orange roster that is overflowing with (very talented) youth and inexperience. Mark and Murphy bring their experience to a defensive unit that was absolutely brutal (to put it nicely) this past season. It’s early to say, but I would expect them both to be starting in their respective roles once next February roles around.
Welcome to Central New York, Will and Jake! We look forward to seeing you don the Orange next spring!