Men’s Lacrosse Welcomes Holy Cross in Inaugural Match Saturday

Friday, Mar 19, 2021 at 9:00 pm by Sports Editor

By Tara Arya

CitrusTV’s Men’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

At the start of the week, it looked like Syracuse could be looking at a bye week after their original match against Hofstra fell through due to Covid issues with the Pride program. Lucky for the Orange, Holy Cross’ originally scheduled game against Army was also canceled due to Covid return-to-play protocols for the Black Knights.

Rather than take a weekend off heading into several weeks of top ten opponents, Cuse will play Holy Cross in the Dome Saturday at noon.  The two teams have never played and in the age of Covid we’re seeing teams from different conferences facing off more due to the Ivy League sitting out and Big Ten playing interconference only. This not only means a change in opponent, but ranking as well. Hofstra is currently ranked at 20 in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll while Holy Cross sits unranked.

Although this is the first contest between the two, they’ve got a few connections. The biggest being Stephen Rehfuss. Rehfuss originally committed and planned to play for the Crusaders and said his press conference Thursday, “I couldn’t be happier at Syracuse now” and has had quite an impressive career thus far for the Orange.

Now let’s look at how this game might go down. Syracuse is now the fifth ranked team in the country and looking to win their fourth game in a row. Holy Cross is unranked and trying not to hit a three-game losing streak. In his press conference Wednesday, Coach John Desko said “We had to scramble to see who is available to play… we started with the team a little preparation today and we got tomorrow and Friday.” Although a last-minute change, both teams still have three days of preparation for Saturday’s game.

The biggest thing the Orange need to focus on this weekend is avoiding complacency. Even though they’ve cruised through their last two games and on paper Holy Cross looks like another win on the board, they need to also be cognizant of the fact that Duke is just around the corner the week after. 

There are some Holy Cross players to watch out for. Sophomore Dean DiNanno is the team leader in goals with seven on twenty-two shots. But he’s also committed 12 turnovers this season and the Orange defense will likely add to that. Crusaders junior goalie A.J. Fox has 40 saves on the season, stopping 51% of goals he’s faced this season. As a team, Holy Cross has scored 28 goals so far, but allowed 38 goals on top of that.

One of the biggest takeaways from the Stony Brook game was the strength of the Syracuse defense. Holding Stony Brook to nine goals and winning 17 of 29 faceoffs, Syracuse is going to be make it really tough for Holy Cross to get on the board.

On the offensive end, it’ll be exciting to watch Stephen Rehfuss against his former team along with other offensive weapons Owen Hiltz, Tucker Dordevic and Brendan Curry who will test the Crusader defense. 

Also make sure keep your eyes on Jamie Trimboli. Coach Desko mentioned Wednesday that “We would like [Trimboli] to shoot more” he currently sits at six goals on 12 shots, but Desko continued to say, “But I’m happy with him… we don’t want to force things.” This would be a great game to get Trimboli more opportunities to attack so definitely be on the lookout for more production on offense from him.

Catch the action Saturday at noon in the Carrier Dome with a limited number of fans, up to 900 will be allowed or watch it on ACC Network. | @TaraArya98