Cortland, N.Y. -- Yes, it's only fall ball, but a lot can be taken away from Syracuse's two wins against the Iroquois Nationals and Israeli National teams. Here are a few things that stood out:
Face-offs: Freshman Joe DeMarco did not play for the Orange due to injury. The face-off specialist hasn't played this fall because of a broken thumb.
Austin Wentworth, a walk-on for the Orange saw most of the reps on the afternoon alongside midfielder Drew Jenkins. Syracuse head coach John Desko mentioned last Thursday that he has been showing "great potential and great work ethic." Wentworth was playing on Syracuse's club team for a couple years according to Desko.
Desko did not comment on why senior Chris Daddio and sophomore Cal Paduda didn't play.*
Offense: While Jojo Marasco and Luke Cometti are huge losses on offense for the Orange, it's safe to say that the team will be just fine when it comes to reloading.
Hakeem Lecky emerged from Sunday's contests and made a case for a starting spot on Syracuse's first midfield line. The midfielder showed incredible confidence on the field and took advantage of all his opportunities. Instead of being solely just a dodger from up top -- something that he is mostly known for -- Lecky used his quickness to create one-on-one's and even took it inside himself and converted. Against the Iroquois Nationals, Lecky exploded for five goals and showed his versatility.
While Randy Staats won't be joining Syracuse until spring, the Onondaga Community College transfer played on the Iroquois Nationals team and did not disappoint. In the loss versus Syracuse, Staats had two goals and one assist.
The offense, as a whole, really did not show their cards when it came to the playbook. Instead, the team used high picks up top and behind the cage to create space. Off-ball movement was the norm for the Orange.
Defense: Very much like the offense, the defense kept it simple, too, sticking to a man-to-man concept. The squad showed patience in a settled situation as well as in its ride.
Long-stick midfielder and Onondaga transfer, Niko Manning, had his name mentioned a lot in the press box and deservedly so. Manning found himself on both sides of the ball on offense and defense. Following a Lecky goal against Israel, Manning followed up with one of his own. The long pole also offered relief on the wings, scooping up ground balls and making hustle plays in the midfield. Very much like his highlight tape, Manning has the ability to create fast breaks and push it up field.
- Ben Romagnoli played the entire first half in goal against Israel followed by Tyler Avallone in the second. Dominic Lamolinara, last year's starting netminder, got the start against the Iroqouis Nationals followed by Bobby Wardwell. I did not see freshman Parker Ferrigan get in.*
- Freshman Jordan Evans had a quiet day, finding the back of the net only once against Israel. Evans played primarily midfield in the two contests. There has been some speculation that Evans will make the move to midfield because of the depth at attack. I wouldn't be surprised if Desko makes that the plan moving forward.
- Alongside Eric DeJohn, freshman attackman Dylan Maltz were the team's leading scorers with two goals against Israel.
* Indicates that I will be following up and asking Desko when given the opportunity for an interview.
Syracuse perfect in exhibition play
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