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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #13 Syracuse Orange

Syracuse made it to the NCAA Tournament once again, but were unseeded for the first time since 2012.

Syracuse Athletics

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review with the teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament!

#13 Syracuse Orange

Conference: ACC
2019 Record: 9-5 (2-2 in ACC)
Postseason: Lost to North Carolina in ACC Tournament, lost to Loyola in NCAA First Round
Head coach: John Desko (21st Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Bradley Voigt (35)
Assists: Stephen Rehfuss (21)
Points: Bradley Voigt (44)
Faceoffs: Jakob Phaup (137-of-226; 60.6%)
Ground balls: Jakob Phaup (63)
Caused turnovers: Tyson Bomberry and Nick Mellen (19)
Goals against average: Drake Porter (10.35)
Save percentage: Drake Porter (56.2%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: D Tyson Bomberry (19 CTs, 61 GBs, 1 A), A Nate Solomon (26 Gs, 15 As, 30 GBs, 6 CTs), A Bradley Voigt (35 Gs, 9 As, 28 GBs, 2 CTs), D Marcus Cunningham (9 CTs, 13 GBs), LSM Austin Fusco (7 CTs, 13 GBs, 1 A)
Senior scoring departing: 93 of 277 points (33.6%)
Senior starts lost: 55 of 140 (39.3%)

Season Summary

Syracuse has been known to be one of the greatest lacrosse programs in the history of college lacrosse. But they haven’t been able to reach Championship Weekend since they last did it in 2013. As always, there’s a hope that the team can do that each year.

2019 did not start out as expected. Hosting Colgate in the season-opener, the Raiders took the lead early in the game. The Orange trimmed the deficit to a single goal multiple times but saw Colgate respond and end any change in momentum, leading to a surprising upset. After days of overreactions, Syracuse responded with a strong 13-5 win over Albany. Bradley Voigt scored a career-high six goals in the game. The Orange then responded by holding off Army West Point by a couple of goals.

Their ACC opener against Virginia started out well for Syracuse. The team appeared to be pulling away with a 13-9 lead with 10:02 left in regulation. But the Cavaliers managed to build a comeback and take a win in overtime. The Orange were then plagued with slow starts inside the Carrier Dome against Johns Hopkins and Rutgers before they clawed back for big non-conference wins. The same happened in a very rare outdoor home game against Duke. Down 8-4 with 6:28 left, Syracuse scored four goals in just under 4:30 before having Brendan Curry score the game-winner in overtime.

But their hot run got cold in a single half against Notre Dame, as the Orange gave up 11 goals in the first 30 minutes and made a switch in goal for the second half. That may have given the team a jolt, as they went on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to two goals. But a Brett Kennedy penalty halted the Syracuse run as the Fighting Irish were able to score on the ensuing man-up and add another tally shortly after for the win. Yet they went hot again to end the regular season, recording wins against Hobart, Cornell, North Carolina, and Navy to enter the ACC Tournament.

Syracuse entered the conference tournament as the fourth seed and had to play in the ACC’s Opening Round matchup against North Carolina. Everything looked good as the Orange took a 10-7 lead with 6:12 left in the game. But the Tar Heels put together a ferocious three-goal, 45 second run to tie the game at 10 before Matt Gavin potted home the eventual game-winner as the Tar Heel defense shut the door on Syracuse’s offense. The loss pushed Syracuse out of a first round home game and put them on the road against Loyola. ‘Cuse had another four-goal lead, this time in the third quarter, before the Greyhounds went on a 7-0 run to take the win and end Syracuse’s season.

The starting attack remained the same the entire season with Voigt, Nate Solomon, and Stephen Rehfuss spearheading the offense. Owen Seebold and Griffin Cook also spent time at the position. Up top, Curry, Jamie Trimboli, and David Lipka were the starting trio, while Jacob Buttermore, Cook, Pat Carlin, Lucas Quinn, and Matt Magnan also contributed as depth midfielders.

Nick Mellen and Tyson Bomberry led the close defense with 19 caused turnovers with Marcus Cunningham being the third member of that unit. Long stick midfield was another deep area for the Orange with Kennedy, Austin Fusco, and Jared Fernandez all adding quality minutes. Peter Dearth, Andrew Helmer, who also grabbed a pole on man-down situations, Grant Murphy, Brett Barlow, and Luke Schwasnick were the short stick defensive midfielders. Jake Phaup and Danny Varello each finished over 50% on faceoff draws, while Drake Porter was solid in his first year as the starting netminder.

Looking Ahead

Despite losing their top two scorers and two starting defensemen, the Orange should have the pieces to get themselves back to Championship Weekend in 2020.

Rehfuss is the only starting attackman back, but things could get complicated. All three starting midfielders along with four main depth midfielders return. Plus add Tucker Dordevic back from a season-long injury and Chase Scanlan transferring from Loyola and donning the No. 22 jersey and you have a big puzzle to put together. And now add Kevin Donahue taking a step back with an assistant to be named later.

On defense, Mellen returns for his redshirt-senior season. Nick DiPietro red-shirted in 2019 and looks to be a starter, with Grant Murphy potentially moving back to his normal position. Murphy also started in the Army win in place of an injured Bomberry. The No. 22 is back, and Syracuse fans also hope the team can go back to the final four.


How many wins will Syracuse get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    (13 votes)
  • 47%
    (47 votes)
  • 36%
    (36 votes)
98 votes total Vote Now