Syracuse men’s lacrosse opens the floodgates, notch 28-5 win in Gary Gait’s debut
Syracuse men's lax blasts Holy Cross 28-5 in season opener
The Syracuse men’s lacrosse team dominated their season opener at home, overpowering the Holy Cross Crusaders with a final score of 28-5. Those 28 goals are the most ever scored by Syracuse in a season opener.
“It’s nice to finally have a game,” said head coach Gary Gait, who picked up his first career win as the coach of the Syracuse men’s team. “It’s been a long year. Taking on this new job and preparing this team, to finally have an an opponent in an official game was exciting. I was very happy that the players showed up and did what we asked, and that was purely play as a team with relentless effort. They never stopped.”
The Gait era kicked off with a bang. After two years of capacity restrictions inside the Carrier Dome, Syracuse men’s lacrosse team treated fans to the most goals by a since April of 1994. Seven different players on the team scored their first collegiate goal for the Orange.
The Orange opened the scoring barrage early, netting seven goals in the first ten minutes of action. Syracuse’s starting attack was nearly unstoppable in the season debut. Owen Seebold, Tucker Dordevic, and Mikey Berkman combined for 13 goals on the game, with Dordevic and Seebold each adding five goals apiece.
“We were itching to get out there and play,” said Seebold. “No matter who the opponent is, I think today was about us. You hear a lot of talk about our team and how we might not be as stacked as years prior, but we’ve kept our head down and worked from September on through now.
“Today was just a culmination of all that hard work. Now is just the beginning.”
The scoring came in all forms during the offensive onslaught. Senior midfielder Brendan Curry did his job early, scoring all four of his goals on the game in the first quarter, driving the alleys and creating his own offensive opportunities. Dordevic went behind his back while driving below goal line extended to increase his angle, resulting in a cheeky goal that snuck just inside the close pipe.
The Orange were also able to generate offense by continually moving the ball, as 16 of Syracuse’s 28 goals came off assisting passes. The first goal of the game doubled as Berkman’s first career assist, which happened to go to his roommate, Pete Fiorini.
“He’s been one of my best friends,” said Berkman. “I think we just have that connection. I think he assisted me on one as well.”
Dangerous in transition…
— Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse (@CuseMLAX) February 12, 2022
Despite the massive margin of victory, the most telling moments from the game came on Syracuse’s hustle plays. The Orange nearly doubled Holy Cross’s ground ball total, picking up 48 to their 26. Their defense–especially by their short stick midfielders–remained strong all game, remaining on Holy Cross’s hands all afternoon and forcing 21 turnovers.
Even at moments deep into the second half, Syracuse players laid their bodies out when chasing missed shots to ensure their team kept possession. While the Orange may not be able to put up similar scoring numbers in future games, those tenacious plays are what separate good teams from great teams.
The Orange will take the field again next Sunday, Feb. 20th at noon when they host No. 2 Maryland at the Carrier Dome.