DONAHUE LOOKS ‘RUSTY’ IN RETURN TO ORANGE LINEUP
After sitting out last week’s scrimmage against Hofstra to allow his body to rest, Dylan Donahue got involved early, assisting on the game’s second goal to Jordan Evans in a 12-10 win over No. 10 Brown.
Despite Donahue playing a secondary role to Evans and graduate transfer Nick Piroli on Saturday, Syracuse head coach John Desko praised Donahue’s strong field presence.
“I thought he helped us run the offense well,” Desko said. “He’s one of our leaders.”
Donahue is SU’s top returning scorer from the 2015 team, and is the last person on the team that needs to prove anything new to his coaches.
“I thought he was a little bit rusty (today). He missed a couple that he could have had, but it was great to get him back out there,” Desko said.
Donahue said that it was great to play again, and that he felt light on his feet, which, for him, was a good sign. “I hate sitting out,” he said.
SYRACUSE HAS POTENTIAL, IF NOT EXPERIENCE
It’s an understatement to say that the Orange is a young, inexperienced team this season. That being said, Donahue, Desko and Evans all agreed that even with these mistakes, the team made a significant jump from last week’s opening scrimmage.
“I thought spacing was better, off ball movements were better, we were working together more, and overall, it ran more smoothly,” Donahue said.
They also thought that, in general, the team wasn’t quite ready for the regular season.
“The biggest improvement we need going into the season is experience,” Desko said. “We’ve got a lot of guys, especially on the offensive end, that have little to no game-time play.”
That was apparent in the third quarter, when Syracuse found itself in a quagmire on offense, surrendering its two-goal halftime lead.
“Offensively, we have to work on not being so sloppy, being patient off the ball, and staying big,” Donahue said.
Then again, that’s why exhibitions are played.
And despite the struggles, there were also plenty of positives.
“I don’t think there’s a limit,” Donahue said. “We have a very smart team this year, and a team that works hard.”
SYRACUSE ITCHING FOR REGULAR SEASON
The Orange open its 2016 campaign Feb. 13 against Siena in the Carrier Dome.
How excited are the guys to start the regular season?
“We can’t wait,” Donahue said. “We’ve gotten a lot of practices under our belt. Everyone’s itching to get out there. Today was awesome. I’m glad Brown came to play. We’re ready for the real games to start.”