Syracuse University is home to two of the top lacrosse programs in the country. The SU men’s team finished the abbreviated 2020 season ranked #1 in the country. After four games this year, the Orange are ranked 6th according to Inside Lacrosse.
Across campus, the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team is off to an even hotter start in 2021. The Orange are undefeated through four games, and ranked #2 in the most recent Inside Lacrosse poll. Every team the SU women have faced so far is nationally ranked. Even so, three of their four wins have come by ten or more goals.
Gary Gait is the head coach for the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team. As a former player for the SU men, Gait says he is excited about their recent success, and enjoys sharing the Carrier Dome with such a strong team.
“I know that John [Desko] is going to have his team making a run for a championship this year again. Having that opportunity to have a great team on campus beside us is awesome,” said Gait.
However, any interaction between the two teams is greatly diminished this year. In order to follow COVID-19 protocols, there needs to be an eight hour break between either one playing a game in the Carrier Dome. On top of that, John Desko and Gary Gait simply run into each other much less often.
“Pre-COVID we would just meet in the offices occasionally just to catch up, and now with COVID there’s very little overlap,” said Desko. “So it’s different this year, I haven’t really seen them. I haven’t watched them practice. I’ve seen them a little bit on television, but it’s the year of COVID.”
Nevertheless, both groups have still been able to find success, despite the obstacles of playing a season during a pandemic.