Gary Gait previews 2022 team in intrasquad scrimmage
Men's lacrosse scrimmage highlights alumni weekend
The Syracuse men’s lacrosse program held its alumni game and intrasquad scrimmage at the Dome on Saturday. Last year, the annual celebration was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought we saw some bright spots, some ball movement, some off-ball movement on the offense,” new head coach Gary Gait said. “I thought the defense was coming together a little bit and communicating.”
The scrimmage was the first opportunity for the public to see the team under Gait, who took over for the retired John Desko. Gait was formerly the Syracuse women’s lacrosse head coach from 2008 to 2021, guiding them to three NCAA runner-up finishes.
“It’s been awesome,” Gait said about coaching his new players. “These guys are hungry, they want to be successful, they want to be good, they want to win.”
Team White jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first half, but Team Orange, led by attack Owen Seebold, scored a couple of late goals to make it 4-3 at halftime.
Team White netted the first goal of the third quarter to extend their advantage to 5-3, but Team Orange stormed back with four consecutive goals to take a 7-5 lead. Team White rallied late in the period to tie the game at 7-7 thanks to two goals from Dordevic.
The fourth quarter was dominated by Team White, as they outscored Team Orange 7-1 to make the final score 13-8.
“It’s been tons of fun,” Dordevic said about playing for the new staff. “People’s spirits are super high, and there’s a lot of promise.”
Syracuse had a disappointing 7-6 season in 2021, which ended with a first-round NCAA Tournament loss to the Georgetown Hoyas. Captain Brett Kennedy believes the Orange can get back on track this upcoming season.
“It’s early now, but there’s a lot of new stuff, and we’re excited for what we’re going to do,” Kennedy said. “We’re working on new standards being set, and we’re setting no expectations. With all the new scheming, we definitely have what it takes.”
The alumni game that preceded the scrimmage was a highly competitive affair, with Team 15 4 Life getting the win over Team Z 8-7. The game consisted of 20-minute halves instead of the standard four 15-minute quarters.
It was a back and forth contest the entire way, with neither team having more than a two-goal lead. Team 15 4 Life held an 8-6 lead in the late stages of the second half, while Team Z mounted a spirited comeback attempt. Team Z scored right before the final buzzer to cut the deficit to one, but it was too late.
“We want our alumni involved and engaged,” Gait said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to develop those relationships.”
Midfielder Brendan Curry likes the new energy of Syracuse lacrosse as the team prepares to begin Fall ball on Monday.
“We’re feeling good and it’s fun learning new stuff,” Curry said. “After last year, I think we all have a chip on our shoulder, so we’re buying into that.”