Good Friday afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the third game thread of the season as the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team concludes their busy first week with another JMA Dome game.
While it’s the Orange’s third game in a seven day period, it’s their first game ever against the Manhattan Jaspers lacrosse program from the MAAC.
There is, however, a very strong (and newfound) connection between the programs since first year Orange defensive coordinator John Odierna has come to SU after eight years on the Manhattan staff, the final of which was as head coach.
The Friday afternoon meeting between the two NYS programs will be at 4 PM and will broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
A Manhattinee at the Dome.— Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse (@CuseMLAX) February 9, 2024
No. 9 'Cuse vs. Manhattan | 4 p.m.@SyracuseU Student Night
@ACCNetwork Extra (https://t.co/UcD49AqrW6)
https://t.co/cXoS8vHSh9#HHH x #LikeNoOther pic.twitter.com/8LnYU4lDyu
- All-time series: 0-0; First ever meeting
- Manhattan last season: 10-5 overall, 7-2 MAAC, lost in MAAC semifinals to Siena, 11-8
- Manhattan this season: 0-0 overall, 0-0 MAAC
While ‘Cuse may have some tired legs, Manhattan is completely fresh as they’ll be playing their first game of their 2024 season today.
Coming off earning a share of the 2023 MAAC regular season title, the Jaspers were picked to finish third in this year’s preseason coaches’ poll behind Siena and Marist.
Their best player is their returning leading scorer Kyle Gucwa, an attacker who was recently picked as the preseason Co-Player of the Year by the MAAC coaches. Gucwa was by far the Jaspers leading scorer last season with an evenly split 50 points. He leads an offense that returns six of their top eight scorers, although they’re not exactly a group that was lighting the world on fire as they only averaged 9.47 goals per game.
Their strength last year was their defense under the guidance of the man now standing across from them in Odierna. They led the entire country with their 8.0 scoring defense, but losing their coach and several contributors will likely mean a step back in that department.