As you may or may not know, the SU Varsity took down the SU Alumni All-Stars, 11-9, on Saturday. The scrimmage was part of the sixth annual Orange Alumni Classic, and was one of two fallball events slated for this year.
While the score is not important in the scheme of things, we did see a few things of interest.
1. It appears as though we can scribble Jordan Evans in at attack. With Dylan Donahue returning, the third attack position is still up for grabs. Senior Tim Barber got the starting nod at attack in Saturday's scrimmage, but he is competing with transfers Nick Mariano and Nick Piroli. Mariano, a junior, transferred from UMass over the summer and brings with him 81 career points. One good note on Mariano is that he can play both midfield and attack, so due to the roster situation Coach Desko could play him at midfield, and he did get a few runs on the midfield line Saturday. Piroli, who did not play against the Alumni All-Stars, graduated from Brown last year and was thus ineligible to play a fifth year under Ivy League rules. He will be a graduate student in the business school. Piroli did not play in 2014 due to injury, but even still he put up 86 points in his 46 games played. If I had to guess right now, I think the starting attack will be Donahue, Barber, and Evans with Piroli and Mariano on the first midfield line.
2. The play at the wings was disappointing on Saturday. Nick Weston and Tom Grimm took most of the faceoffs at the wing position, but according to Desko's comments after the game we should expect the coaching staff to mix things up a bit. Another tid bit from the faceoff circle, Ben Williams did not play as he is recovering form some sort of procedure he had in the spring. There is no indication as to what kind of procedure was performed but hopefully he has a full recovery.
3. Red shirt junior Evan Molloy backed up Warren Hill in net. Molloy was the 18th rated goalie recruit in 2012 according Inside Lacrosse. The coaching staff really liked Molloy coming out of last year's fall practices but he is not the only goalie vying for time. Dominick Madonna, who had seven saves in the fourth quarter of the scrimmage, is new to the Syracuse Orange after transferring from division II Merrimack College over the summer. With a group of young, talented goalies on the team, it looks like Molloy is the front-runner for the backup slot. That being said, I'm not completely sold on Hill yet, and neither is the coaching staff judging from the postgame comments. There is definitely a goalie competition heating up. I expect Hill to come out on top, but we've seen Desko go with a two-goalie rotation (which I absolutely despise, but I'm not a coach so who cares). Therefore I think it's reasonable to assume we will see some significant time from the backup, whomever that turns out to be.
4. Defensively, the Orange bring back two strong defenders in Brandon Mullins and Jay McDermott. Although Ralph D'Agostino saw significant time last year, freshman Nick Mellen looked good on Saturday, and Desko said he has no problem going with a freshman. Inside Lacrosse ranked Mellen as the 30th best incoming freshman and the 8th best incoming defenseman.