Third time's the charm

The Orange begin their hunt for a third national championship in a row with two exhibition games against LeMoyne College and Hofstra University Sunday at the Dome.

Despite losing senior leaders Kenny Nims, Dan Hardy, and Matt Abbott, the Orange begin the 2010 season with very high expectations. Syracuse is the pre-season No. 1 ranked team in the nation and the consensus pick to win this year’s NCAA tournament. The Orange edged out Duke to claim the top spot in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason coaches poll and the NIKE/Inside Lacrosse preseason media rankings.

Photo: Vernon Young
Junior Josh Amidon advances past Hofstra Senior Adam Swarsen during the first quarter at Sunday's exhibition game.

The Orange look like they will be more than capable of defending their title with this year’s team. Playing against a talented Hofstra team (pre-season ranked 10th), the Orange offensive attack looked sharp. Junior Stephen Keogh and Senior Cody Jamieson lead the offense and are both pre-season All-Americans. The duo seemed to have tremendous chemistry around the net and gave Hofstra defenders fits for most of the day.

The defense was also impressive and picked up right where it left off last May. Junior Goalie John Galloway looked strong in the net. Last May, Galloway became the first starting goalie in the NCAA era to win national championships as a freshman and also as a sophomore. He is a pre-season third team All-American. Galloway’s backup Al Cavalieri, was also impressive and seemed comfortable during his brief action. Cavalieri made a name for himself last season in the playoffs when he replaced Galloway who was out for a game with the flu. Cavalieri saved 14 shots to lead the Orange to an 11-6 win against Maryland. The Orange also kept two of its three starting defenders for 2009. Junior John Lade and Senior Matt Tierney started every game last season and looked solid today against LeMoyne and Hofstra. Tierney and Lade are both pre-season All-Americans. 

The one question mark the Orange will have this season is its midfield. While their replacements are more than capable, losing star midfielders Matt Abbott and Dan Hardy to graduation could pose some problems for the Orange. All in all, the Orange lost five of their top six midfielders from last season, and at times it showed today against Hofstra and LeMoyne. The Orange took longer than usual to get in their offensive sets. Josh Amidon and Jovan Miller are the only midfielders who saw significant playing time last year so they must step up and lead a group of inexperienced midfielders this season. Miller has a chance to be special. With Abbott and Hardy gone, Miller's role will expand and he should flourish. His combination of athleticism and strength was far superior to anyone Hofstra or LeMoyne could throw at him. He is a pre-season All-American honorable mention while Amidon is a third team All-America pick.

Copyright 2010 Vernon Young/ The NewsHouse


Junior Jovan Miller jumps above the Hofstra defense at the end of the first quarter to score during Sunday’s exhibition game.  (PHOTO: Vernon Young)

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