As we enter into a new year, we all decided to put together something we want to see for the Syracuse Orange in 2023.
Syracuse is known nationally for 44. But to lacrosse fans, 22 is arguably more important. After a bit of time, the Orange have found a new player to wear the famed 22 jersey that the men’s lacrosse coach made famous. Joey Spallina made a lot of noise down in the lacrosse hotbed of Long Island and committed to Syracuse with the promise of getting the historic number as soon as he got on campus. The Orange haven’t had a 22 since Jordan Evans, and Spallina seems like he has everything in his game to do justice to the history of that number. It’s been a while since Syracuse had a game-changing recruit that turned heads, especially with the growing parity of college lacrosse. Who knows? Spallina could turn the lacrosse world on his head just like Gary Gait did with that same number. I, for one, would be happy to see that.
Mike: A Women’s Lacrosse National Championship
These Orange have come close to winning it all many times in the last decade, with finals appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2021. They fell short of another trip to the Final Four last season, but this year’s roster is once again loaded with star talent. It may be SU’s best chance in years to finally add a women’s national championship banner to the Dome rafters. Megan Carney and the Tyrrell sisters of Meaghan and Emma are joined by sophomore sensation Olivia Adamson in what should remain one of the most potent attack units in the entire NCAA. After MSOC just won it all, it’s the perfect time for WLAX to make their own history.
John: Health for Women’s Lacrosse
Obviously, Mike hit on the big goal for women’s lacrosse (and every SU team), but there’s still the question of how exactly they go about getting the first banner in program history. One of the biggest factors in that pursuit will be if the team can avoid the bevy of significant injuries that have plagued them in recent years. After the devastating, season-ending injuries from 2021 (Emily Hawryschuk and Meg Carney) and 2022 (Emma Ward, Sierra Cockerille, and Emma Tyrrell), this team deserves a cleaner slate for 2023. As Mike noted, this roster is overflowing with incredible talent and has a definite shot to be in the title race. Let’s just hope they get the chance to do so without any unwelcome setbacks.
Dom: More love for Felisha Legette-Jack and company
After a disastrous 2021-2022 season, the Syracuse women’s basketball team is back with a vengeance. The Orange currently sit at 10-3 on the season, just one win away from matching the total number of wins the team had last year. So far, despite just four returning starters from the 2022 campaign, the Orange look especially strong against Quad 1 opponents, currently ranking in the top-75 in the NCAA’s NET ranking. And yet, attendance is absolutely porous at the Dome and the broader coverage of what the women’s program is building has been limited at best and neglected at worst. It’s time to show more support for the women’s basketball team. The team has poured its heart out, and it needs every fan possible at home games if the Orange truly want to remain motivated the rest of this season.
Kevin: All National Championship Banners in the Dome
I realize that both field hockey and soccer have home games at the Lally Complex and should have their NCAA Championships recognized there. However, most Syracuse fans never step foot in those areas, so it’s time the Dome displays these, as well as the titles won by cross-country and men’s crew. There should also be an area in the renovated Dome to display all individual NCAA champions in Syracuse history. If they need to make room for any, just take down the Billy Joel and put in the closet until his next concert in the Dome.
Steve: Continue to capitalize on successes
The men’s soccer program won the national title, but they’re losing at least half their starting XI and will need to rebuild. The football team went to a bowl for the first time in five years, but will be losing five players to the draft and numerous more to graduation and transfer. The women’s basketball team is in the midst of a great start to the season and needs to capitalize on what they’re doing heading into ACC play. While there are a number of squads that are on rough footing, those who saw success to whatever degree they did, need to come back strong and use that to their advantage to rebuild for soccer and football, or grow as a team with basketball.
What do you want to see in 2023?