The Syracuse Orange are set to welcome the Colgate Raiders into the Carrier Dome on Friday night at 7PM to open up the 2019 season. The Orange look to get their season off to a hot start with a win over in-state foe Colgate.
Coming into this game it will be the beginning of a new chapter for Colgate lacrosse as Matt Karweck takes the field for the first time as a head coach. Karweck came over from Notre Dame where he was the offensive coordinator. The raiders look to open the Karweck era on a positive note on Friday.
Syracuse is a heavy favorite in this game, as expected. The Orange bring back a young core from last year on both sides of the ball. This young core really shined at times last season, but didn’t live up to “Syracuse” standards, as many Orange fans would argue. This will be our first real look at the Orange and see how they have progressed over the summer and fall.
The Orange will rely heavily on attackman Stephen Rehfuss in this game and throughout this season. Rehfuss did not play in Syracuse’s scrimmage against Yale last weekend, but twill be playing on Friday according to head coach John Desko. Also, Tucker Dordevic will be out in this game and could miss additional time as well with a foot injury.
Nate Soloman, Bradley Voight, and Jamie Trimboli will also be guys the Orange will hang their hats on this year offensively. If Dordevic does miss some more time this season David Lipka has been reported to run with that first midfield unit in his absence.
While the Syracuse offense is pretty solid the defense may be more of a question mark and something to watch in the Orange’s opener. Nick Mellen will lead the trio of long poles again this season. While Mellen will most likely be their strongest defender Austin Fusco and Tyson Bomberry are back as well and look to get things off to a solid start on Friday. The Orange have a new goalie as junior Drake Porter will get the start.
Colgate comes into this game with a new head coach and a pretty young squad as well. We will get to see how this team gels within these new systems on offense and defense, as well as see how some new energy can potentially help this program get back to competing for Patriot League titles.
On offense the Raiders will lean pretty heavily on senior attackman Sam Cleveland who led them last season. Sophomore attackman Mike Hawkins and junior midfielder Griffin brown will also be two guys to watch for in this game as they were crucial pieces of the Raiders offense last season as well.
The biggest thing, from my perspective, to watch is what kind of system they play and how they use the shot clock, the dive, and the shortened sub box. With a new staff the players may work right in or it may take some time. You never really know until you get to see them play.
Defensively the Raiders will be anchored in net by senior Connor Mullen. The Texas native looks to get his senior campaign off and running on a good foot come Friday’s game. Out in front of Mullen the Raiders have a lot of younger guys returning from last season. Junior Parker Baddley will be one of the leaders on this defense that is fairly young and will be growing quite a bit this season.
To many this may be a lopsided matchup, aka cupcake game for Syracuse, to start the season but it is an interesting one with both teams looking for ways to improve and see how things work.
You can watch this game on ACC Network Extra (ESPN 3). faceoff is set for 7:00pm ET.