Syracuse lacrosse thrashes Hobart for 33rd Kraus-Simmons Trophy
SU men's LAX thrashes Hobart for Kraus-Simmons Trophy
On Saturday afternoon, the Syracuse men’s lacrosse team hosted Hobart in a battle for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy. The Orange claimed their 33rd title as they thrashed the Statesmen, 18-7.
Hobart tried to make it competitive, but the Orange pulled away early. After giving up two quick goals, SU would go on a 7-0 scoring run to take a five-point lead. During the run, freshmen Joey Spallina and Micheal Leo scored two goals, while Owen Hiltz, Cole Kirst and Jackson Birtwistle each added one.
Kirst’s first goal put him at the 100-point mark for his collegiate career. The broadcast and digital journalism graduate student scored the 67th goal of his career to go with 33 assists.
But Kirst wasn’t the only player to reach a milestone. Spallina scored four goals on the day, putting him ahead of head coach Gary Gait for most goals scored as a freshman. Gait had no idea he was even on the list, he said postgame.
“I wouldn’t even know I was on the top-10 list. I got to be honest,” Gait said. “That was a long time ago, and I didn’t play much during my freshman year, so I didn’t know I was on the list, so there you go. Surprised me.”
The Unstoppable Wraparound™ #HHH x #LikeNoOther pic.twitter.com/Ncjtt5h66T
— Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse (@CuseMLAX) March 25, 2023
Spallina’s four goals on the day put him at 27 on the season. Two of them came off behind-the-back shots, unable to see where the ball was going. Postgame, Spallina spoke is success with the wraparound shot that gets the crowd on their feet.
“I have practiced that move hundreds and hundreds of times,” Spallina said. “I felt where I was on the field and shot it low. I didn’t look or have any idea where it was going to go. I just aimed it low.”
One big reason for the Orange’s victory was the shot disparity. Hobart had 33 total shots on the day, while Syracuse attempted a whopping 60, as SU was more aggressive throughout.
Despite the dominant victory, the Orange continued to struggle with ground balls and face-offs, as they have all season. Hobart successfully won the ground ball battle 33-25, and the face-off rate 16-13.
Gait knows that if his team wants to take down Notre Dame and other tough ACC teams, they will need to improve on those two facets of the game.
“This group works so hard, and we’re just trying to figure out how we can be on the upside of the face-off stat,” Gait said. “We’re struggling, but we’re grinding every day, and we hope we can at least compete in these next two games.”
The Orange’s next game will be against No. 1 Notre Dame at 2 p.m. on Saturday, a senior day game at the JMA Wireless Dome. Syracuse will then travel to New Jersey to take on Princeton on April 8 at noon.