For the first time in the 2023 season, the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team is playing a midweek game, and it comes as the Orange head to Long Island for a spring break contest against the Hofstra Pride.
The Orange and the Pride have scrimmaged each other a bunch in recent years, but this is their first regular season meeting since 2003, exactly 20 years ago.
The game is at 7 PM and will be shown on LacrosseTV, which you can stream here: https://streamstak.com/lacrossetv/
- All-time series: 16 meetings; SU leads, 12-4; SU 6-3 on the road
- Last meeting: April 17, 2003; Hofstra W, 8-6
- Hofstra this season: 2-4
On a much smaller scale, the Pride are experiencing a drop off similar to what ‘Cuse is in their program in recent years. They were 6-9 last year, finishing under .500 for the third time in five seasons.
Hofstra started the year losing their first three games (by a combined five goals) to Merrimack, Navy, and Michigan. They picked it up with a pair of wins over LIU and St. John’s before getting trounced by Villanova in their last game.
This will be the Pride’s first game in 10 days, so they’ve got an entire extra week of rest on SU in this one.
Scouting the Pride
Hofstra is not a very good offensive team. They’re averaging only 11 goals per game and are shooting only .261 percent. They turn it over more than 17 times per game on average, and their man-up unit has not been good in going 7-of-25 on the year (28 percent).
Their offense is led by John Madsen (13G, 6A), who leads the team in goals, points, and shooting percentage (.342). He’s flanked by Gerard Kane (9G, 9A), Rory Jones (10G, 5A), Colton Rudd (6G, 6A), and Griffin Turner (7G, 4A).
Defensively, they’re only surrendering 11.33 goals per game. However, their goalie, Mac Gates, is only stopping .496 percent of shots on goal this season.
Statistically speaking, the strength of this Hofstra team is (and now is the point when you want to cover your eyes) their face-off and ground ball game.
FOGO Chase Patterson is up among the leaders in the country with a .623 FO win percent, that’s good for 8th in the nation among people who qualify. He also wins a lot to himself as his ground balls per game (9.0) is also 8th in the nation.
So, good luck to Jack Fine and Johnny Richiusa, who finally won a FO battle for only the second time all season against Hopkins (12-11).
As a team, Hofstra is plus-53 on ground balls this season.
Learning to Fly
This young Syracuse team has fought hard and kept games close, for the most part, during their four game losing streak against all-ranked teams. They’ve done well in keeping competitive, but continue to miss the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to winning those games.
Learning to win is a skill that must be acquired, and this program is still trying to figure out how to get it done, as depressing as that is to say. ‘Cuse is currently on a nine-game losing streak against ranked teams.
This game will not end that streak no matter what since the Pride are 2-4 and unranked, but SU is also on a four-game road losing streak that dates back to the Stony Brook game last year.
The second road game of the year out on Long Island on two days rest against a Hofstra team that’s on nine days rest is yet another opportunity to learn how to win in somewhat less-than-ideal circumstances.
One step at a time for this Orange team. We hope.