The transfer portal has taken more than it has given to Syracuse lacrosse so far this offseason. However, the first domino fell last week when Alex Simmons committed to SU. The Ontario, Canada native previously suited up for Denver in the Big East and was a dominant force as a Pioneer. The Culver Military Academy product finished third on the team in points in each of his last two seasons.
In 2021, Simmons was named a Mid-season All-American by Inside Lacrosse on his way to a 55 point campaign. Heading into 2022, the midfielder moved up to attack (similar to Tucker Dordevic) and still produced at a high clip. The Tewaaraton Award watch list member tallied 30 goals and 15 assists. So Syracuse is getting a versatile offensive player that has successful experience at both mid and attack. Let’s watch some film on Simmons and see what his game looks like:
This is an example of Simmons playing attack. Strong take from the Canadien here using his body to shield off his defender and get to his spot. At times, Syracuse’s attackers failed to generate their own offense this past season so it’s a good sign to see Simmons flash that capability.
Great ball movement and quick recognition by Simmons to find the open man. Syracuse was actually pretty decent with facilitation and feeds in the slot last year. However, the man mostly responsible for such success was Brendan Curry who is now in the PLL. What you see with Simmons right now is a player that can both pass and shoot at a high level.
Nice backdoor cut here from Simmons. As an attacker and midfielder, he plays at the top of the box in the man-up offense. So Syracuse is getting someone that can play a similar role on its power play in 2023. The Canadien probably has a background in box lacrosse which fuels his success in quick catching and precise finishing.
Good inside finishing, good passing, and Simmons can also let it rip. What’s more impressive here is that he beat UNC goalie Colin Krieg who is on the top keepers in the country. The Denver transfer is a triple threat player and Syracuse can definitely use that in its offense with the lack of firepower right now. Simmons will have the ability to stretch out a defense with his outside shot.
Nice little two-man game here. Simmons again displaying his ability to read a defense, locate a slide, and find the open man. This is never a bad trait to have on the offensive end and was actually a major component in SU’s offense this past season.
So what is Syracuse getting in Alex Simmons? An offensive specialist that could run at attack or midfield. With Joey Spallina, Owen Hiltz, and Jackson Birtwistle figuring to lock up the spots in the attacking third, Simmons will probably play mid. With the Denver transfer on the field though, it’s almost like there are actually four attackers on the field at once.
Simmons is not a dodger or an initiator, but he is a creator. The Culver Academy product is a skilled passer, accurate shooter, and crafty finisher inside. The former Pioneer will be a nice piece for this offense, but even with the grad student coming in, Syracuse has more work to do in the transfer portal.