Syracuse men’s lacrosse opens 2023 season against Vermont
Syracuse men’s lacrosse starts the 2023 season against Vermont. Saturday will be a look into the Orange’s 22 new players. WAER’s Annie Klaff previews the contest.
Four victories, ten losses. That’s how Syracuse men’s lacrosse finished its 2022 season, and first season under head coach Gary Gait. The Orange only took down one conference opponent – No. 10 Duke – and lost to all five ACC teams.
Saturday, however, marks the start of a clean slate for SU and Gait when they challenge Vermont in the season opener. Plus, there will be 22 new faces playing in Orange. Even still, it’s important to note that Gait’s team will be missing former team stars Tucker Dordevic, Owen Seebold, and Brendan Curry. Dordevic ended up transferring to Georgetown for his fifth year.
While Syracuse ultimately lost 23 total players after the 4-10 overall season, Gait’s found a way to fill the gaps.
Of the 22 new players, 15 are freshmen, six are transfers, and one walk-on. On the freshman front, there’s of course one player to especially look out for…the number one recruit according to Inside Lacrosse, Joey Spallina. The Mount Sinai, NY native comes in as an attacker.
Senior transfer Will Mark is also one to keep an eye out for. The goalie from Long Island University was mentioned in Inside Lacrosse’s Preseason Media All-American lists. He’ll be in contention for the starting spot along with returners Harrison Thompson and Patrick Duffy in the net.
Further on the veterans side of things, redshirt sophomore Owen Hiltz is back in full swing after missing out all last season with an upper-body injury. The Ontario native started 12 of 13 games in his freshman year under John Desko, and tallied 29 goals and 19 assists.
In all, this season will be a look into a rebuilt Syracuse team with tons of new Orange blood.
Syracuse and Vermont have only met up once before. That was back in 2021 for John Desko’s final season. The Orange defeated the Catamounts 17-13, with returner Owen Hiltz leading the team with four goals.
UVM finished last season 12-7 overall, and came away as 2022 American East Champions. Syracuse will be Vermont’s first ACC contest since last February, when the Catamounts fell to number three Duke 15-7.
The Cats will be without their three leading scorers from last season, Thomas McConvey, Michael McCormack, and Liam Limoges. The three scored 60, 40, and 32 total goals, respectively.
However, two Vermont players to watch this time around are returners David Closterman and Haley Brock. Closterman, a graduate student from Pennsylvania, led last year's squad with 36 assists and recorded 29 goals. Brock, the Canadian senior, followed behind with 25 assists and 26 goals. Both attackers also found the net against top-ranked Maryland in the NCAA tournament last season.
Ultimately, Saturday will be a test for a very new Syracuse squad and a chance to bounce back from last season. It’s also a challenge for a Vermont squad that won its conference last season and made it to the NCAA tournament (when SU did not), but lost three main contributors.
The season opener for both teams is Saturday at 1 p.m. in the JMA Wireless Dome. WAER’s coverage begins with McClurg Team Countdown to Faceoff at 12 p.m.