Coach: Kevin McKeown
Location: Binghamton, NY
Conference: America East
Game Location: Carrier Dome
Game Time: 1 PM
Television/Radio: ACC Network Extra / TK99/105
Weather: DOME WEATHER!
All-Time Syracuse Record Vs. Opponent: 7-0
Previous Matchup: 9-8 Syracuse win
Opponent Ranking: N/R
2017 Quick Facts
2017 Record: 11-5
2017 Conference Record: 4-2
2017 Conference Postseason Results: Lost to Albany in AmEast Championship Game
2017 NCAA Tournament Postseason Results: N/A
Are we excited yet?!? The Syracuse Orange season starts on Saturday at 1 PM in the Carrier Dome, the seventh wonder of the world. Who’s up first? The Binghamton Bearcats. Yea, sure they play in the America East Conference (a.k.a. The Albany Athletic Conference a.k.a. TAAC) and yea it’s not even the best team in college lacrosse named BU, but this is a program that has shown an ability to play with the big boys in the Dome. Last year the Bearcats took SU to a one-goal game. This year the fellas from the school down I-81 where Jim’s gotten more speeding tickets than there are exits bring a strong midfield and skilled faceoff squad. Let’s get into it.
The current roster will not be the only ones returning to the Dome, former SU midfielder Paolo Ciferri will make his return as an assistant coach with the Bearcats. Since being hired Ciferri has been helping out with the defense and runs the riding and faceoff units.
The Bearcats are coming off of a successful 11-5 season in which they made an America East Championship appearance. The loss of top scorer Tom Moore is a massive hit to the 2018 prospects but BU will still have a very experienced roster. Look for Joe Licata, who grabbed the overtime goal against Stony Brook to send the Bearcats to the 2017 America East Tournament, and Thomas McAndrew to head the way at attack. Moore’s 48 goals in 2017 will be tough to replace and while McAndrew and Licata were both in double digits in goals and assists a year ago, they will need to step up big time. Griffin Konen started 14 games last season with 14 goals and seven assists and should be the third attackman.
At the first midfield, expect seniors Stephen Petrelli, Joe Grossi, and Sean Gilroy to start. Combined, these three started just 14 games last year with Petrelli leading the pack with 15 goals and three assists. The lead dog at the defensive midfield is junior Jack Sullivan.
Syracuse will see a familiar foe at the faceoff X. Senior Austin Macchi has never ended a season with a winning faceoff record but he did go 12-8 against Ben Williams last year. The faceoff unit also returns wings Petrelli, Grossi, and Tim Mattiace. During the preseason, Coach McKeown mentioned that “Coach Ciferri has done an excellent job in preparing this unit.” Expect nothing less from a ‘Cuse guy.
Defensively the guy to watch is sophomore Zach Barrett. The Lynbrook, NY native was named to the America East All-Rookie Team in 2017 after a 37 groundball, 24 caused turnover season. Sal Fama will return after redshirting last year due to an injury. Fama should be the leader for the defensive unit and is a two-year starter who has 11 caused turnovers and 15 groundballs in his career.
In the crease, the Bearcats lose Tanner Cosens, an America East first-team selection in 2017. However last season’s backup, Kevin Carbone, returns as a redshirt sophomore to battle two freshman for the starting spot. In 2017 Carbone played about 10 minutes, giving up two goals and making five saves.
The Syracuse Orange will open the season against the Binghamton Bearcats at 1 PM on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. The game can be seen on the ACC Network Extra and heard on TK99/105. Of course, you can always follow me @Orangelax for updates.