SU Men’s Lacrosse Season Preview: Midfielders
By Nick Luttrell | @nickluttie
CitrusTV Men’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
The area where Syracuse is arguably the best at year in and year out – midfielders. The past few seasons, the Orange have had a consistent three midfielders start each game: Tucker Dordevic, Brendan Curry, and Jamie Trimboli. But this year things will be different. Trimboli has now graduated and moved on to bigger and better things in the PLL, Dordevic is predicted to move to the attack position according to Coach Gait and that leaves just Brendan Curry. For this year’s team to find success, Curry must step up. He’ll also have help from other, less experienced teammates such as Griffin Cook, Lucas Quinn, and Jacob Buttermore. Let’s break down each player and what they have to offer to this year’s team.
Brendan Curry – Senior
The three-time All-American returns for his final season in orange. And as mentioned above, he’ll have to put up even better numbers than his 17 goals and 11 assists from last year. Curry brings unmatched experience to the SU midfield as he’s started every game since midway through his freshman season. He’s known for quickness and speed to get around defenders and score goals. The Maryland native also once again assumes the role as team captain for SU – this is his third straight year in the position, something no other Syracuse player has done.
Tucker Dordevic – Junior
While it’s still unknown whether Dordevic will move to the attack position to fill the role of the injured Owen Hiltz – we still have to talk about the sensational junior. As a sophomore last season, Dordevic had 23 goals and eight assists including a four-goal performance against North Carolina in April. While listed as a junior, this will be his fifth season with the Orange as he was injured all of 2019 and given an extra year of eligibility after COVID-19 shut down his 2020 season. With no Hiltz for the time being, you can expect SU’s opponents’ best long-stick midfielder (LSM) to be guarding Dordevic. He brings a different skill set compared to the quick Brendan Curry. Dordevic poses a 6’0 frame weighing nearly 200 pounds which allows him to bully his way past defenders and score goals.
Lucas Quinn – Senior
For most of his career, Quinn has been rotated in as a second-line midfielder because of star players like Jamie Trimboli and Tucker Dordevic ahead of him. This season, there’s a good chance that will change and he’ll fill the role of Trimboli and join fellow Senior Brendan Curry in the first line. Last season, Quinn put up 10 goals, two assists, and eight ground balls off the bench. While only 5’9, he has a powerful lower body weighing 208 lbs which should help him be a little quick like Curry but also powerful like Dordevic.
Griffin Cook – Junior
The Syracuse native is expected to have a larger role this season after only scoring four goals last year. Throughout his three seasons at SU, Cook has moved between midfield and attack and seems to have settled in the midfield for the time being. While his 5’8, 172lbs size could be a problem against a bigger defender, Cook seems to be known for his ability to be a so-called ‘pest’. In the shortened 2020 season he led the nation in forced turnovers by an attackman. While he won’t be the star of this team, Cook’s minutes in the second line of middies will be important in determining a successful midfield this season.
Jacob Buttermore – Senior
Buttermore is another player that has seen consistent minutes as a second-line midfielder throughout his past few seasons. Similar to Cook and Quinn, he’ll be relied on more this year than he has in the past. Buttermore was poised for a solid season last year but went down with a season-ending injury halfway through the season. His Sophomore year campaign was the brightest of his career as he had 20 goals and three assists. Whether he moves into the starting lineup is yet to be seen but as he’s shown in 2019, he can be a threat scoring goals for SU.
If it wasn’t clear enough already, Syracuse will need guys to step up to keep up the line of success that SU has produced in the midfield position over the years. Talent won’t be the issue for this position group – execution will be. Head Coach Gary Gait will need to prepare his guys for the gauntlet of competition that is the Atlantic Coast. If this position group can play to the potential that each of them has, they can return to being the best midfielders in the country.