Following a 2019 campaign that saw the Orange finish 9-5 and get knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row, Syracuse has done a complete one-hundred-eighty degree turn. They won the summer of 2019 and look much more promising heading into the 2020 season.
Syracuse’s summer of success started with landing highly coveted transfer, Chase Scanlan. The rising sophomore had a stellar season with Loyola as a freshman, playing alongside Tewaaraton winner Pat Spencer and helping the Greyhounds reach the NCAA quarterfinals where they lost to Penn State after beating Syracuse in the first round.
Scanlan, a native of Irving, N.Y. and member of the Seneca Nation of Indiana Cattaraugus Reservation, brings a lot to this Syracuse offense. The sophomore tallied 58 points (43G/15A) playing midfield last season but will play attack for the Orange, according to reports. His ability to score, feed, and versatility will fit right in with a Syracuse offense that was the 15th scoring offense last season and returns a good mix of young and experienced talent.
One of those key contributors returning for Syracuse in 2020 is midfielder Tucker Dordevic who missed all of last year with a foot injury. As a freshman in 2018, Dordevic started in 15 games and posted 20 points (15G/5A). Fully healthy, Dordevic is expected to pick up right where he left off and help lead this Syracuse team in 2020.
With Scanlan being inserted at attack and Dordevic coming back this could be a very solis Syracuse offense for any defense to face. Beyond those two, Syracuse returns three of their top five scorers from last season with attackman Stephen Rehfuss, midfielder Jamie Trimboli, and midfielder Brendan Curry.
In addition to the personnel the Orange have on the field, they bring in one of the brightest young offensive minds to replace long-time assistant coach Kevin Donahue who announced his retirement in August.
Former Princeton offensive coordinator Pat March will be taking over the offensive side of the field. March has coached and developed some stellar offenses since entering the coaching world at his alma mater, Roanoke, in 2011.
During his three seasons at Princeton, the Tigers’ offense finished second (2017), third (2018), and 11th (2019) in scoring offense in Division I. Princeton also ranked first in shooting percentage in 2017. Prior to his time at Princeton, he served as the offensive coordinator at Vermont where he helped them jump from 55th to 11th in scoring offense and ranked in the top 15 in every offensive category.
March has coached some of the best offensive minds in the game today. At Vermont, he coaches Ian MacKay, the 2016 America Conference Player of the Year and current pro player for Atlas LC in the PLL, and at Princeton, he coached Michael Sowers who was a Tewaaraton finalist last season as a junior.
With all this offensive firepower coming in and returning, and hiring of March, this Syracuse offense has the chance to look like some of those run-and-gun Syracuse teams of the past.
In addition, the Orange don’t get hit too much by graduation of the defensive side of the ball and should be very stout once again with Drake Porter in goal and Nick Mellen, and Peter Derth leading the charge out in front of the cage.
The Orange have utilized the NCAA Transfer Portal, made a fantastic hire to replace a legend, and have simply won the summer. Heading into fall ball, which will start in a few weeks, and into the season there are sure to be bumps in the road, but Syracuse looks like one of the most promising teams heading into the 2020 season.