Desko names Daddio starter at X

Syracuse lacrosse head coach John Desko will lean on senior Chris Daddio when it comes to face-off play this season. More inside.

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Syracuse lacrosse head coach John Desko will go with senior Chris Daddio at the X this season.

Daddio went 115-for-254 (45.3 percent) last year and rotated with sophomore Cal Paduda (115-for-254). The two combined for nearly 44 percent percent of the face-offs.

"Lately, in practice, he is doing a little better," Desko said in his media availability on Thursday. "As coaches we have to settle on one person that needs to take reps. Last year we were frustrated. We'd put the guy in for three or four face-offs, then we'd take him out and try someone else for three or four.

"You need to go with one guy to start with and give him a number of reps to give him an opportunity, if he's not winning them early, to adjust and see if he can get possessions afterwards."

Paduda has been out since fall with a hand injury. He has not played in Syracuse scrimmages against Hofstra/Le Moyne or Towson.

"He hasn't been back," Desko said. "We're a little frustrated with that. Coming out of the fall, I think he was way up there -- kind of splitting time with Chris -- and now he hasn't been able to practice."

Syracuse brought in a small Army of face-off specialists in the offseason and includes the likes of junior Ricky Buhr (11-of-20), junior college transfer Mike Iacono, walk-on Austin Wentworth and freshman Joe DeMarco to try and combat its struggles at X.

Daddio will be tested on Monday when Syracuse faces Siena and their go-to FOGO Casey Dowd. The junior won roughly 54 percent of his face-offs a year ago. In an interview with CuseNation.com, Siena head coach John Svec said that Dowd has dropped weight to ensure quickness and improved his stick skills.

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