The Syracuse lacrosse team began practicing for the 2008 season in September. Although the official season begins in February, the Orange are hoping to rebuild after their first losing season since 1975 (5-8), which knocked them out of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1982.
SU’s performance last year was a big blow to Orange fans, but coach John Desko seems to be optimistic about the upcoming season.
“I’m really excited to be back here," Desko said in a press release. "After a season like we had all you can do is evaluate what went right and what we did wrong and try to figure out how to make it better."
So, what can we expect from the Syracuse team this year?
Coach Desko has eight of his eleven starters coming back including All-Americans Dan Hardy, Steve Brooks, and Mike Leveille.
He also held onto his top face-off man, Danny Brennan (the NCAA allowed him to compete as a fifth year senior) after loosing Jon Jerome who was ranked as one of the top ten in face-off win percentages.
The Syracuse team has found leadership in seniors Mike Leveille, Evan Brady, and Kyle Guadagnolo, who will be captains for the 2008 season. All three were key starters for the Orange last year.
Last year, a lot of problems were attributed to goalie Peter Coluccini. This year, fifteen freshmen have been added to the lineup, including goalie John Galloway, who was West Genesee High School's starting goalie during the 2007 NY State title game.
Although things are starting to look up for Syracuse, I don't know if they'll have what it takes to win against some of the other NCAA powerhouses. They do have a much deeper and more experienced team than last year, which should at least give them a chance and keep them from another losing record.
Good luck Orange.