By no means is SU men’s lacrosse’s season over, but it can’t hurt to look into the crystal ball.
The Orange still has one regular-season home game against Colgate before it heads into the NCAA Tournament, likely as a top 5 seed. Glimpse a bit further—meaning into next season—to realize Syracuse returns attackmen Kevin Rice, Randy Staats and Dylan Donahue.
This year’s squad performed beyond expectations in the program’s first-ever ACC tournament, and the names above stood out big-time. Rice set a tournament record with 10 assists over the course of the weekend. Staats notched five goals in the loss to Notre Dame yesterday and made a highlight reel behind the back pass to Billy Ward to tie the ACC Semifinal game against Duke. Donahue slipped in the game-winner against the Blue Devils with .2 seconds remaining on a pass from no one other than Rice.
It’s scary to think about how much this Orange attack will progress by this time next year.
Rice has immensely improved from last season to this one. He’s scored in every game but one for Syracuse, and in that game, the home opener against Sienna, #2 still tallied eight assists.
As for Onondaga Community College transfer Staats, he missed a pair of games earlier this season and seemed like he would not offer much. Now, he’s one of the best attackers in all of college lacrosse, both in the passing and scoring games.
Donahue broke out in the opener with eight goals for the Orange. That total now is up to 33 and Donahue has proven he owns a clutch gene down the stretch of games.
Expressing some love for SU’s attack doesn’t mean The Fizz is throwing away a comeback season based on how it started. Just remember that if you thought this year’s team was going to dominate, well…look out. Next year, Syracuse probably lands in the ACC Tournament final once again, with a more explosive Rice, Staats and Donahue. Enjoy the ride while this season lasts, though.
Posted by: Brendan Glasheen