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Syracuse Lacrosse: Previewing Colgate

The Syracuse Orange will play host to the Colgate Raiders on Saturday at 1 PM. Syracuse has dominated the all-time series and with Colgate going 4-9 so far this year, a Syracuse loss would be a major upset.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

COLGATE Quick Facts

COLGATE All-Time Record Vs. SU: 11-45-1

COLGATE Streak Vs. SU: L3

COLGATE Last Win Vs. SU: May 3, 2008

COLGATE 2015 Record: 10-6; Lost in the NCAA First Round to UNC

COLGATE 2016 Record: 4-9; Wins versus Binghamton, Bucknell, Hobart, Lafayett; Losses versus Michigan, Lehigh, Boston University, Cornell, Fairfield, Army, Loyola, Navy, Holy Cross

2016 Patriot League Preseason Coaches' Poll: #3 out of nine

2016 Patriot League Preseason All-Conference Players: M Cameron Williams, G Brandon Burke

2016 RPI: #53

2016 SOS: #36

Syracuse and Colgate first faced off in 1921. Since 1976, Colgate has just two wins against SU. While SU has dominated the all-time series, last year the Orange only beat the Raiders by two. In that game SU put up 43 shots with just 23 on goal, with Ben Williams winning 18 of 20 faceoffs. Only four Syracuse player had a point in that game, and three of those four have now graduated. I can't imagine this year's game being as close.

The Colgate Raiders are approaching the end of a very disappointing year. Picked to finish third in the Patriot League, Colgate will end the year eight in the conference with a 2-6 conference record. Colgate joins Lafayette as the only two teams not to have a player named to an All-Patriot League team.

Syracuse and Colgate have four common opponents this year, Colgate's results against those teams are as follows:

Colgate 11, Binghamton 4

Colgate 7, Hobart 6

Cornell 6, Colgate 5

Army 11, Colgate 7

Syracuse's aggregate goal differential in these four games was +15.

Colgate puts up an average of 8 goals per game, 59th in the country. Only two programs in the nation have a worse man-up unit than the Raiders. Colgate's man up offense converts on just .200 percent of all opportunities. Then there's the shooting percentage, one of the worst in the nation at .236. There is no doubt that Colgate is a bad offensive team, but I can say with pride that the leading point scorer on this squad is a fellow Rivers School alum (Go Red Wings!). Sam Cleveland has 28 points and is also tied on the team for most goals scored with 15. Coming into Colgate, Inside Lacrosse rated him the 36th best incoming attackman. That being said, his shooting percentage sits at .181.

The Raiders lost Chase Wittich to an ACL injury against Loyola. In his freshman year Wittich put up 27 points and he had 16 this year prior to the injury so this is a huge loss. Robby Dunigan has been starting in place of Wittich. He's got five points in four games played this year. Anthony Abbadessa is second in points behind Cleveland on the team, he did not play the last game against Lafayete due and it is unclear whether or not he will make the Syracuse game. If Abbadessa does not play, I expect Joe Delaney to get the start. The Freshman got his first start against Lafayette last week and put up five goals to bring his season total to nine.

At the faceoff X, Colgate is winning just .412 percent of opportunities. This team is using two main FOGOs. Collin Orr is 58-126 at the X, an improvement on his .378 winning percentage in 2015. I can't talk too badly about his stats though, as is another fellow high school alumni of mine. Junior Peter Marchetto is the other faceoff guy for Colgate and sports a .414 winning percentage. I have no doubt Ben Williams could dominate this game, but only want to see him out there for a quarter or two. I'd like to see Cal Paduda get the majority faceoffs in the second half and see what he can do.

At defense, John Baker has started 40 games during his collegiate career. He missed the Lafayette game with an injury and it is unclear whether he will be back to face the Orange. In his place, long-stick midfielder Connor Murphy will start if Baker is out again. Murphy has a team leading 11 cuased turnovers this year. The other two starting long poles are Leo Stouros and Jackson Patterson. Stouros has 26 groundballs and nine cuased turnovers this year.

The goalie position is one of the few bright spots for Colgate. Remember Jordan Burke? He was a great goalie at Brown, graduating in 2009, and now plays for the Boston Cannons. Jordan's younger brother Brandon has started every game in his three years at the ‘Gate. Jordan has a career 9.22 goals against average and .515 save percentage. In last year's 9-7 SU win over the Raiders, Burke made 14 saves and gave up just nine in an impressive performance. Nevertheless, he is on pace to have his worst statistical year at the collegiate level, but that may be more due to his defense than anything. He is an intelligent lacrosse player and is the leader on the clears. Interestingly enough, he's taken six shots this year.

Projected Lineup

Attack

Sam Cleveland

Robby Dunigan

Joe Delaney

Midfield

Peter Donato

Tyler Rigo

Jack Stebbins

Defense

Leo Stouros

Jackson Patterson

Connor Murphy

Goal

Brandon Burke

Syracuse will host the Colgate Raiders on Saturday at 1 PM in the regular season finale. The game can be seen on ESPN3/TWCS and heard on TK99. Of course you can follow me @Orangelax for updates.