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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: PLL awards and season update

Two ‘Cuse alums picked up awards at the end-of-season ceremony over the weekend.

LACROSSE: SEP 04 PLL - Quarterfinal - Redwoods vs Chaos Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2023 Premier Lacrosse League season will be remembered from a Syracuse Orange perspective for a pair of rookies who burst onto the scene and shone brightly to represent the Orange well in the professional ranks.

Third-round pick Cole Kirst and first-round pick Tucker Dordevic found immediate success among the world’s best after finishing out their collegiate careers in the spring. Their efforts were rewarded last Saturday as they were both named award winners during the PLL End of Season Awards Ceremony.

Cole was the recipient of the Jimmy Regan Teammate Award, while Tucker was named the PLL’s Rookie of the Year. Let’s dive a little deeper into what their rookie seasons looked like, as well as some of our other former Orange players.

Cole Kirst, Redwoods — Jimmy Regan Teammate Award

Cole, who’s having a tremendous rookie season with his play, was the recipient of one of the most respected awards for his attitude. According to the PLL’s website, the Jimmy Regan Teammate Award represents the following:

Whether playing lacrosse at Chaminade High School, leading the Duke Men’s Lacrosse team to two ACC championships or serving our country as a Fire Team Leader with the elite Special Operations 75th Ranger Regiment, Jimmy was always the consummate team player and a friend to all. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”… that was Jimmy Regan. In memory of Jimmy Regan, this award is given to the ultimate teammate.

It’s an incredible honor to receive this award that is given in the name of one of the biggest heroes of the lacrosse world, and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that it went to Cole. He always displays a wonderful attitude and energy level, and he brings that every day in support of his teammates.

On the field, Cole’s play has been outstanding, as he’s accumulated 20 points this season on 14 goals (1 2-point goal) and five assists. He leads all Redwoods midfielders in scoring, putting up better numbers than veteran stars like Jules Heningburg, Romar Dennis, Charlie Bertrand and Nakeie Montgomery. Overall, he’s fourth in the PLL in rookie scoring with one of the best debuts of the season.

On Labor Day, Cole helped his Redwoods advance in the playoffs as he scored two points in a 15-9 quarterfinal round win over Chaos. They’ll play in the semifinals this coming Sunday, September 10 against the top-seeded Archers at 3 PM on ABC.

Tucker Dordevic, Whipsnakes — Rookie of the Year Award

While Cole is giving the Redwoods incredible bang for their buck with the way he's performing as a third round pick, no selection from the 2023 PLL draft performed better this summer than Rookie of the Year Tucker Dordevic.

Tucker, whose Whipsnakes lost to the Waterdogs, 15-12, in the quarterfinals, finished his rookie season with 29 points on 17 1-point goals, five 2-point goals, and two assists. Those numbers tied him for second on the team and first on the Whips’ midfield, ahead of well-established teammates like Matt Rambo and Zed Williams.

Overall, his 29 points tied him for 15th in the entire league in points, and his five 2-point goals tied him for the league lead in distance shooting. He also led all rookies in scoring on his way to picking up his award.

Despite the Whips’ early exit from the playoffs, Tucker finished the season doing everything he could, leading the team in scoring during the game with three points as he secured a hat trick during his first postseason game.

Brendan Curry, Atlas

Brendan and the Atlas also saw their season come to an end on Labor Day in a brutal, 20-11 defeat to No. 2 seeded Cannons.

As his team suffered through a terribly disappointing season with a talent rich roster but finishing with a 2-9 record and a first round playoff loss, Brendan mirrored the struggles of the larger team unit.

He finished the season with nine points on five goals and four assists and got less productive as the season progressed. He started off the season very solidly, scoring all nine of his points during his first six games. During that stretch, he scored his five goals on 5-for-10 shooting. In the final three games of the season, he scored zero points and went 0-for-8 shooting.

It’s definitely a puzzling way for his season to end, but then again Atlas’ entire season was kind of puzzling the whole way through.

Peter Dearth, Atlas

The theme continues for Atlas with Peter Dearth, as the SSDM completed a modest season with 11 ground balls and one caused turnover, playing in only six of the team’s 11 games. On top of that, he only made one game day appearance in the final six weeks of the season.

Drake Porter, Atlas

But wait, we’re not done with Atlas just yet.

Drake is Atlas’ backup goalie to starter Jack Concannon, and he appeared in three games this season including their playoff loss on Monday. Drake probably wishes he didn’t appear in that game since he came in late after the blowout was already in effect.

He finished the season with 19 saves, four ground balls and a 41 save percentage in his three games. His best game came on July 15, when he started against Chaos and made 12 saves.

Brett Kennedy, Whipsnakes

Brett had something of a weird season, playing sparingly but playing great when he did see the field.

He started off the year with Chaos, the team that drafted him in the 2022 draft. He eventually ended up with the Whipsnakes, seeing action in three games and accumulating four caused turnovers, seven ground balls and one assist.

Those are great numbers for his limited playing time, but he didn’t appear in a game after July for the extremely loaded Whips defense.

Alex Simmons, Jakob Phaup and Bradley Voigt all ended the season in the PLL Player Pool.

Congratulations to Cole and Tucker on earning their season awards and having incredible rookie seasons in the PLL!