The final weekend of July brought us our yearly opportunity to get a look at some of the future stars of Syracuse Orange lacrosse as the New Balance All-American Game descended upon Homewood Field.
This year, three women and three men were chosen to compete in the game before they arrive in Central New York later this summer. The games were pretty successful from a ‘Cuse point of view, particularly for two future standouts in Alexa Vogelman and Trey Deere.
Vogelman, a midfielder from PA whose ranked No. 18 overall in the incoming class, shone brighter than anyone in the women’s game as she walked away with the game’s MVP honor thanks to her four goal, one ground ball, and one draw control performance in leading her team to victory.
MVP of the 2023 @NewBalanceLax All-America is South middie Alexa Vogelman (@CuseWLAX), who finished with four goals, a GB and a DC.— ILWomen (@ILWomen) July 30, 2023
“No one expects the South to win. You look back at the records, we’re not supposed to win.” pic.twitter.com/dBQu4mMyB9
I was incredibly impressed with what I saw from Vogelman in this game. I thought she showed off a wide-ranging skill set both offensively and in the transition game. The flashiest, and perhaps most dangerous, part of her game is her exceptional foot speed and quickness, which she used to incredible effect in this one.
She scored three of her four goals off the dodge, using her quick first step to help gain an advantage on her defender, comfortably switching hands when she needed to, and then using her ability to shoot on the run to finish things off. In the middle of the field, she used her speed to become a one-woman-clear as a way of initiating offense. In the first quarter, she started a clear that ended in a transition goal three or four passes later.
I was also quite impressed with her toughness in this game. In the third quarter, she did something incredible as she came up limping in the middle of a clear at midfield. After passing the ball away (one-handed), she immediately tried to stretch her leg out on the field, stayed in the game, and proceeded to score a goal later on in the same possession. She never went down to the field, and she didn't try to limp off to the sideline. She tried to fix the issue herself during the middle of a play, somehow did, and then scored for her team; all in a glorified exhibition game. I think ‘Cuse fans are going to like that seeing that mentality from her in the coming years.
I would not be surprised to see Alexa playing a role for the Orange as a freshman, because she has the skills, athleticism, and speed to make an immediate impact at the next level.
On the men’s side, Trey Deere was the big story for SU fans. He filled up the stat sheet on the night with three points on two goals and an assist, as well as scooping three ground balls and having one caused turnover.
Trey Deere scores with a wooden stick!!— Inside Lacrosse (@Inside_Lacrosse) July 30, 2023
Trey, also ranked No. 18 overall in his incoming class, is a lefty attacker with a smooth finishing ability and all the tools you could ever want. One of his best skills is his incredible feel for finding the open space, and he doesn't need much, to slip into for his teammates to find him for the finish. You have to figure that’s going to work well on a ‘Cuse offense that has so many great passers on it.
The other big story with Trey from this game was the fact that he actually played it with a traditional, wooden stick as a way of honoring the late Alf Jacques, the famed Onondaga stick maker who passed away last month. It’s a pretty great story, and even better that he was able to play so well with it.
Trey Deere (@CuseMLAX) brought his wooden stick to the game. His teammates told him he had to play with it. He planned to play a few possessions with it. He was throwing checks on the ride with it in the fourth quarter.— Terry Foy (@TerenceFoy) July 30, 2023
He finished with 2G, 1A, 3GB, 1CT. pic.twitter.com/Q84C9dqxh9
Also in the men’s game was Jake Spallina, who is already showing himself as a future do-everything player for the Orange. Jake barely left the field in this game as he played offensive midfield, defensive midfield, took face-offs, and played on the wing on face-offs. Everywhere you looked, you saw Jake’s No. 99 in blue on the field.
While he didn’t record any points in the game, he definitely proved the value of his versatility as someone who Gary Gait can use wherever he needs him to contribute.
The third player in the men’s game was defender Donny Scott, who very unfortunately was unable to play due to a significant injury (torn ACL) he suffered earlier this summer playing box lacrosse. We’ll have to wait and see if Scott, who’s ranked No. 23 overall in the class, can see the field at all late in his freshman year or if he’ll just redshirt the season.
Back in the women’s game, attacker Ashlee Volpe and defender Kaci Benoit also took the field as future ‘Cuse players.
Volpe, who’s ranked No. 15 overall in the class from Corning, NY, didn’t record any points, but I was still impressed with what I saw. She’s a lefty who has the ability to attack with the ball from anywhere on the field. She did that during this game effectively, but was unable to find the finish. I was also impressed with her vision as a feeder, and thought that she exhibited some very smart off-ball movement to help initiate offense.
Benoit, who’s ranked No. 13 overall in the class from Darien, CT, started and played most of the game on defense for her team. It can be tough to judge defense in an all-star game, but I thought she showed some good athleticism and cover skills in this one. She should be another good option for a young, talented defense going into next season.