It’s game day for Syracuse Lacrosse! One week ago the Orange ended a four-game losing streak with a 16-8 road win over Hofstra on Long Island. SU can keep stacking wins starting today with St. Bonaventure in the Dome, followed by Hobart on Saturday.
The Orange (4-4, 0-2) dip back into ACC play after this stretch of four straight non-conference matchups. So if all goes well, Gary Gait and Company should stand at 6-4, 0-2 once ACC play rolls back around on April 1st against Notre Dame. Today we’d like to project how the Orange end up at the conclusion of April. WARNING: The degree of difficulty of this closing sequence is insanely high.
April 1 vs #1 Notre Dame L
The Fighting Irish have owned Syracuse in the past couple years. Last season the combined score between two games was 40-17. Many members from that ’22 ND squad are back and that includes Chris Kavanagh and Eric Dobson. That duo is within the top 10 in the ACC in goals per game. Plus, the Golden Domers have two defenders in the 10 in the conference for caused turnovers per game. On top of that, the best goalie in the nation in Liam Entenmann in cage.
April 8 at #20 Princeton W
This is a very winnable game for Syracuse. Princeton started the season well but has fallen off as of late The Tigers sit at 2-4 and have plummeted in the rankings since a 2-0 start. The Tigers figure to be a tough out though because they’ve lost two straight contests by one goal and hung in there with #2 Maryland and #16 Georgetown. Not to mention, Syracuse has struggled on the road under Coach Gait. Princeton has seven guys who have reached the double figure point already so they’re a very balanced team, but one that the Orange should emerge over in New Jersey.
April 15 at #14 North Carolina W
On the note of road games how about this! We think Gary Gait finally nabs his first ACC road win against the Tar Heels. Funny enough, it comes in the same game and building where it probably should have happened last year. The Orange fell to the Heels 14-13 in the final moments. Look, UNC romped Syracuse 19-13 back in the Dome earlier this season, we didn’t forget that.
However, this team is very new and that was the conference opener. The Tar Heels pulled away thanks to some incredible outside shooting. Teams are much different once mid-April comes around than they were in late February. Will Mark has a better game in goal and Syracuse uses the lessons learned earlier in the year to pull off a road win.
April 22 at #3 Virginia L
This is an uphill battle for Syracuse. Hey, Maryland just showed that this team is mortal and in fact beat them in their own place this place weekend. That victory required tremendous goalie play though, so the question is can Will Mark have the best game of his career? The Cavs are extremely deep offensively with a plethora of options. On top of that UVA has a spectacular defense and a rising star between the pipes. The odds don’t look good for the Orange in Charlottesville.
April 29 at #4 Duke L
The season finale and a rematch against Duke, awesome! The Orange experienced heart break a few weeks ago against the Blue Devils in a 14-13 overtime loss. Syracuse may have played its best game of the year in that matchup so we’re curious to find out if that performance was an outlier or the norm. Duke did not play well in that contest. Andrew McAdorey was held to a singular goal and Brennan O’Neill was inefficient again. The question is can Johnny Richiusa or Jake Fine at least compete with Jake Naso for face-offs? Find an answer there and you have a chance, but we believe that horse isn’t in the barn.
So an 8-7 finish overall and a 1-5 posting in ACC play. That’s not a great record but it’s an excellent improvement from 2022! The Orange only tallied four wins last season. This could be a resume that sneaks SU into the NCAA Tournament field but it’s not very likely.
Some close games that Syracuse could win are the second Duke matchup and perhaps they pull an upset on the road at UVA. The Orange typically play well against the Cavs. In any case, the second half of the year begins tonight against St. Bonaventure.