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Syracuse Lacrosse: Orange take ninth in Inside Lacrosse preseason rankings

The Syracuse Orange join the rest of the ACC in the top 25 of Inside Lacrosse’s preseason rankings.

2013 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championships - Semifinals - Syracuse v Denver Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Inside Lacrosse released it’s Face-Off Yearbook 2017 Preseason Rankings yesterday with the Syracuse Orange landing ninth overall. Four of the five ACC programs made it into the top ten with only the Virginia Cavaliers outside the top ten (and top 15), no other conference put each member in the top 25 other than the ACC.

At first blush, I know a lot of casual fans may think ninth seems like a low spot for the Orange, but considering the players lost and those returning it might be about right. Since the middle of last season, SU has lost attackmen Logan Wisnauskas, Gale Thorpe, and Devin Shewell to transfers. In addition, Jordan Evans has graduated leaving Brad Voigt, Nate Solomon, and Stephen Rehfuss as the only true attackmen returners.

The midfield is another big question mark for this 2018 team. The powerful combo of Sergio Salcido and Nick Mariano is now gone. Between these two and Evans, Syracuse loses a combined 73 goals, 64 assists, and 145 points. Brendan Bomberry is possibly headed for the attack position, which leaves us with Sam Romano, Jamie Trimboli, Matt Lane, and Ryan Simmons as the top midfielders.

The only returner at the faceoff X is Danny Varello who has shown some ability but really struggled down the stretch. The graduation of Ben Williams cannot be understated.

Defensively, Syracuse is a bit more secure with Nick Mellen back in the fold after being out all of 2017 with an injury. Marcus Cunningham also has two years remaining and Tyson Bomberry returns as a player who has shown a strong ability at close defense but is more naturally suited to long-stick midfielder with his quick upfield movement and strong transition game. SU also has Andrew Helmer who had some “showtime” big hits last year, along with Austin Fusco and Josh Pulver, all three of whom are also suited for the LSM spot.

Without diminishing the contributions of folks like Scott Firman and Ben Williams, the biggest loss may be that of the steady hand in net of Evan Molloy. The Orange have a slew of goalies on the roster including William Klan, a transfer from Ohio State who stood out during the U19 World Championships for Team USA, Drake Porter, and Dom Madonna, a stud transfer from DII Merrimack College.

Don’t be surprised to see a lot of experimenting and development at the offensive positions early in the season, especially given that fallball was interrupted by an outbreak of the mumps virus. Defensively I think this team will be more than fine.

Top 20

1. Duke Blue Devils

2. Albany Great Danes

3. Yale Bulldogs

4. Maryland Terrapins

5. Denver Pioneers

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

8. Ohio State Buckeyes

9. Syracuse Orange

10. North Carolina Tar Heels

11. Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

12. Loyola Greyhounds

13. Penn State Nittany Lions

14. Towson Tigers

15. Marquette Golden Eagles

16. lol Virginia Cavaliers

17. Army Black Knights

18. Brown Bears

19. Boston University Terriers

20. Richmond Spiders

21. Villanova Wildcats

22. Navy Midshipmen

23. Princeton Tigers

24. Providence Friars

25. Bryant Bulldogs