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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Joey Spallina and the Orange freshman scoring record

The rookie superstar is having one of the best debut campaigns in school history.

Living up to expectations is a difficult thing to do in life.

Living up to No. 22 expectations for the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team is on another level.

For freshman sensation Joey Spallina, the first step in his college journey was a shaky one, a 1-for-15 shooting performance in his first game against Vermont. Most everything since has turned his freshman campaign into a full gallup.

Spallina has wasted no time becoming the leader of the Orange offense, leading the team in goals (34), assists (27) and points (61). Since the opening game shooting struggles, his shooting has been elite at .418 percent (33-of-79). Even with that first game, he’s still putting up solid numbers on the season at .362 percent, especially for someone whose taken 94 shots through 13 games.

His 4.69 points per game ranks him 6th in the ACC and 18th in the NCAA, the highest scoring freshman in the country by a wide margin.

His play has gone beyond the numbers, as well, as he’s many times this season made the spectacular plays part of his routine. He’s basically cornered the patent on the shovel shot with his back to goal once he’s come up above goal-line extended.

His production has been so good that it’s put him among the best seasons ever by a freshman at Syracuse. His 61 points already has him sixth on the freshman scoring list, with some definite room for improvement. Take a look:

Freshman Points Leaders

  1. John Zulberti — 74, 1986
  2. Mike Powell — 70, 2001
  3. Casey Powell — 67, 1995
  4. Tom Marechek — 65, 1989
  5. Larry Storrier — 63, 1976
  6. Joey Spallina — 61, 2023

SU has two regular season games left and Joey is 13 points behind the record, so it will be a very tall task for him to set the new freshman standard. Although, if the Orange are able to make some waves in those games, there’s still the chance that they can extend their season into May.

Regardless of what happens here in the final two weekends of the regular season, Joey has already proven that the bright lights of expectation do not bother him.

And when you look at the list above, you see the incredible company he’s put himself in. The top four players on the freshman scoring list went on to be four of the top seven scorers in ‘Cuse history.

The newest No. 22 is only just getting started.