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Lax

Crystal Balling Syracuse’s 2022 Lax Season

Syracuse men’s lacrosse begins its season this coming Saturday against Holy Cross. With the start of the a new campaign also comes the onset of a new era. Former Orange legend Gary Gait is now at the helm of the program coming over from the women’s lacrosse team. Last you heard of the former All-American he led the SU women to the national championship. What can Gait do in year one pioneering the program? Let’s discuss.

February

vs Holy Cross W

vs #2 Maryland L

@ #1 Virginia L

Syracuse should open up with a competitive win over the Crusaders. However, SU needs to work out the kinks in that matchup because the Terrapins will be ready to go. Maryland returns 70% of its scoring production and has added in some talented transfers to fill some voids. Yes, the Terps lost the 2021 Tewaraaton winner in Jared Bernhardt, but the expectation is that this team will be competing Memorial Day weekend.

Virginia will be a different story. Remember, the Orange swept the Cavaliers last spring and the biggest reason why was Jakob Phaup. The FOGO won 46/60 draws against UVA’s Petey LaSalla which gave SU the advantage in terms of ball control and allowed them to set the tempo. Phaup could do the same this time around but there’s just too much talent on the offensive end for the Wahoos and they take the early season matchup .

March

vs #13 Army L

The Cadets are led by 19 seniors, the majority of which play critical roles for this team. Expect Syracuse to fall to a talented Black Knights squad which has very few questions, if any.

vs Hobart L

We missed out on the battle for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy last year but it’s back. The Statesman will reclaim the brass though and hand Syracuse its fourth straight loss. Hobart returns its top three goal scorers from one year ago along with its starting FOGO. This figures to be a very high scoring game, one which Hobart will take.

@ #16 Johns Hopkins L

This will be a fun battle as Coach Pietramala matches up with his former team. Of course Syracuse and Johns Hopkins have an extensive history as well. The Blue Jays bring back pretty much all of their offensive production, their #1 FOGO, and starting goaltender. Again the theme here is that there are far fewer questions with this team than ‘Cuse has. It doesn’t make much sense to chalk up a win against a team that is benefitting from continuity.

@ Stony Brook W

An interesting mid-season road test against nearby Stony Brook. The Seawolves have a lot of good pieces back at attack and midfield. On top of that, Stony Brook’s FOGO, and goaltender are back along with some close defenders. This will definitely be a test but one that Syracuse should win. SU ends a five-game losing skid.

vs #3 Duke L

The Blue Devils are back and loaded once again. Duke will have a decided personnel advantage at nearly every position. Don’t expect Syracuse to hang around to the end like it did last year.

April

@ #5 Notre Dame L

The Fighting Irish are strong once again and yeah the Kavanagh kid is still there. No not Matt, Pat is back and his little brother Chris just joined the fold. Pat has been a Tewaaraton finalist every year since 2017 and hung 19 points on the Orange one season ago. ND has to replace its FOGO and a pair of defenders but the top three scorers are back for the Golden Domers including Kavanagh.

@ UAlbany W

The Great Danes lost most of their top offensive threats over the offseason. UAlbany has two of its long poles back but there are a lot of unknows. Syracuse should win this game courtesy of Phaup dominated at the “X” against a 50% draw winner in Regan Endres and a first-year goaltender.

vs #15 Cornell W

The Big Red have won two of the last three meetings. Cornell hasn’t played since 2020 but at this point in the season the rust is gone. A few attackers are back but most of the impact defenders have moved on so this team is a wild card after taking a year off. One FOGO is back from two seasons ago but he’s just mediocre with 46/75 wins in ’20. ‘Cuse gets a much needed non-con win late.

@ #4 North Carolina L

No. Chris Gray is back, Nicky Solomon is back, and Colin Krieg returns between the pipes. On top of those studs there are a plethora of auxiliary playmakers and big-time recruits ready to elevate. Chalk it up way before it happens.

vs #1 Virginia W

Syracuse wins the rubber match back in the Dome.

May

vs #5 Notre Dame L

See above.

So a 5-9 open to the Gary Gait era on the Hill. This is obviously a dismal record but you have to consider the factors in play. This schedule is an absolute gauntlet, the talented 2022 recruiting class isn’t on campus yet, and of course its a transition year. Syracuse could make the NCAA Tournament but would need to pull off wins over Army, Hobart, and idk Virginia twice again? That’s a lot to ask for with this team this year.

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