Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Season Preview

Friday, Feb 02, 2024 at 9:50 am by Sports Editor

By Luke Burgess | @BurgessLuke03

 Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse’s opening draw of the season is less than 48 hours away, so with one of the more anticipated years in quite some time on the docket, it’s time to take a look at what we can expect this year. 


It’s no secret that the Cuse struggled from the faceoff X last season. A 41.9% win rate hindered an offense that was ranked number three in Inside Lacrosse’s offensive efficiency ratings last season. Most people would expect a team that ranks that highly to finish more than one game above .500, but after addressing those problems, and many of the high-powered weapons returning, SU is expected to contend with the best of the best once more. 

The Orange bring in Mason Kohn from Division III Tufts University, where he took home D3 faceoff player of the year after recording 255 Faceoff wins in his Jumbo career. 

But despite the inexperience that Kohn brings, Gait is happy with how his team’s biggest weakness has been addressed for 2024. 

“I think they’re poised to have a good year, I really do. Our faceoff group has improved dramatically. The returners have gotten better, [along with] some new guys coming in and helping them work on some different things.” Gait said in advance of SU’s first test of the season against Vermont. 

Game 1: Vermont

Saturday will officially mark the second straight year that Syracuse has opened its season against Vermont. The Cuse snuck away with a 7-5 win last time out, despite the Catamounts ranking as the best faceoff team in the America East. But expect to see a very different look from UVM after opening faceoff in the Dome. The Catamounts return just one of their four captains from last season, close defenseman Tim Manning. 

“I think we’re going to see a totally different team. We’re definitely a different team, but not dramatically, I think they have more change than we do, and they lost some of their top players.” Gait remarked. 

The Orange certainly still have their work cut out for them with a UVM team that is ranked number two in the America East to start the year, the Catamounts did receive one first-place vote, but finished behind Bryant. 

Things to watch for in 2024:

SU brings in eight grad transfers for this season. One of the key pieces to watch for my money is Lehigh product Christian Mule. The new addition totaled 73 points last season with 29 goals, but it’s his versatility that might be the most intriguing. 

“You know he’s a little bit different than our other [Attackers], he’s a bit more two-handed. Which is going to allow us to play [him] behind the goal, I think it’ll allow Joey [Spallina] to spend more time out in front of goal at times.” Gait said. 

The Orange bring in Defensive Coordinator John Odierna from Manhattan. His last three seasons with the Jaspers as head coach were certainly ones to remember. Odierna’s teams won the 2021 and 2023 Regular Season Championships in the MAAC, and the conference tournament in 2022, so it’s safe to say that SU picked a winner after two-year DC Dave Pietramala moved on to conference foe UNC. 

Gait remarked how the players love the freedom that Odierna’s new defense provides, and added that he’s excited to see it in action in the coming days. 

If you can’t make it to the JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday at 4 p.m. for the opening faceoff of the 2024 season against Vermont, then you can follow along @CitrusTVSports on Twitter for updates on the opening game of the year. You can also follow @BurgessLuke03, @The_SamCorcoran and @adam_gotkin for live game updates all season long!