3 takeaways from Syracuse men’s lacrosse scrimmages against Hofstra, Le Moyne
Sam Fortier | Asst. Sports Editor
Syracuse held its first scrimmages of the 2017 season on Sunday afternoon in the Ensley Athletic Center. The Orange took a 7-6 victory over Hofstra in the opening game and beat Le Moyne 8-3 in the only half of play open to media members.
With the departure of SU’s points leader Dylan Donahue, the Orange is still looking for its “quarterback.” Head coach John Desko thinks Jordan Evans could be the team’s new leader on attack.
Here are three takeaways from Syracuse’s opening games in 2017.
With Thorpe out, Voigt steps into man-up role alongside starters
With redshirt sophomore attack Gale Thorpe out for the season, a hole has opened in Syracuse’s offense for a man-up specialist. That role apparently will be filled by sophomore attack Brad Voigt, who took most of the reps on Sunday afternoon.
Voigt said he will replace starting attack Nate Solomon after flags to play with senior Jordan Evans and junior transfer Brendan Bomberry, as well as the starting midfield of Nick Mariano, Sergio Salcido and Matt Lane.
“(Voigt) is understanding the offense more and more as he gets more playing time so it was good to see him produce,” Desko said. “He shoots well. That was probably his best attribute, being able to finish the ball.”
Voigt scored four goals on Sunday, two each against Hofstra and Le Moyne. His final goal of the afternoon came on the man-up.
“You’re only out there for 30 seconds to a minute at a time,” Voigt said. “It’s really valuable time. … As a guy who doesn’t start or anything, you hop in there and you don’t want to force it or do too much.”
Sophomore defender Nick Mellen probable for home opener Feb. 11
Mellen has not practiced since the fall, but Desko said he could soon return. As soon as this week the sophomore defenseman will start running. While it won’t involve contact, Mellen will start with stick drills before doctors take a look and re-evaluate him at the end of the week.
“We hope so,” Desko said when asked if Mellen will be ready for the opener.
Mellen is the only returning starter on defense for SU and will be vital down the stretch of the season. The then-freshman started in 16 of 17 games and picked up 38 ground balls in 2016. He also forced 14 turnovers, second most on the team.
“He’s hungry to get out there,” redshirt junior Matt Lane said. “I’ve seen him working out a bunch, playing wall ball. I think he’s pretty close to go.”
Syracuse’s up-beat offense flowed against quality goaltenders, even though the scoreboard didn’t indicate it
Early in SU’s 7-6 win over Hofstra, Pride junior goalie Jack Concannon made a handful of point-blank saves. He racked up 14 saves to keep his team in the game despite SU’s diversified attack and a strong start from Lane, who scored two of Syracuse’s first three goals. Lane’s first goal came on the run off a dodge, kickstarting the SU offense in its first game against an opponent since last year’s NCAA tournament loss to Maryland.
“He shoots the ball really, really hard,” Desko said. “So to see him stick and place it well against that hot goaltender is good.”
Nine Syracuse players combined for 15 goals. The attack surrounding senior attackman Jordan Evans, who tallied three assists, included Voigt (four goals), Solomon and Tyler Ford (two each) and one goal each from Sergio Salcido, Nick Mariano, Stephen Rehfuss, Ryan Simmons and Brad McKinney. Ford scored the game-winner in the first game.
Though SU narrowly beat Division-II Le Moyne in the second contest, the Orange’s offense flowed, especially since SU has held practices for only three weeks. Desko said his attackmen looked comfortable and should clean up its open-shot misses from close range.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get as many goals as we wanted to on the scoreboard,” Desko said. “But like I said, I think we’re going to look back when we watch (film) and think we played pretty well considering it’s our first contest against another team.”
Syracuse’s final tune-up scrimmage is against Harvard on Saturday morning.
Published on January 29, 2017 at 9:56 pm