Chase Scanlan certainly made a big impression in his first game for the Syracuse Orange.
The Loyola transfer scored seven goals to lead SU’s revamped offense to a season-opening 21-14 victory over Colgate Friday. The win gave Coach John Desko his 254th career win to pass Roy Simmons Sr. for the second most coaching wins in school history. Desko, a member of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, is now 17th on the NCAA Division I coaching victories list.
It was a revenge victory of sorts, after the Red Raiders spoiled the Orange’s season opener a year ago under the Dome.
SU, under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Pat March, dispatched stingy Colgate this time around with a second-half run behind Scanlan and Stephen Rehfuss. In the third period alone, SU increased its lead to 16-10 on Scanlan’s four goals and five assists from Rehfuss, the team’s lone returning starter on Attack.
After a bitterly disappointing start to last season, Rehfuss, who finished with a career-best seven assists, admitted his team was eagerly awaiting the rematch with the Red Raiders.
“We all had a bad taste in our mouth,” said Rehfuss, who has led the team in assists the last two years.
Scanlan, who has been handed the heralded No. 22 jersey, really didn’t waste much time endearing himself to the home crowd. After Colgate got on the board in the game’s first minute, SU restored order and eventually settled down under the new offensive scheme that is geared to light up the scoreboard.
“No one is going to doubt why we gave it to him,” Desko said after the game. “But going forward, I don’t think he’s going to be much of a secret.”
Drake Porter, the All-ACC netminder, made many impressive one-on-one saves to thwart any Colgate rally.
“We are still trying to figure some things out,” Desko admitted, “but it always nice to get the W.”
SU dominated the stat sheet against Colgate, highlighted by a perfect 22-for-22 in clears. The Orange took a staggering 65 shots with 36 shots on goal. The Orange committed only 10 turnovers to Colgate’s 21 miscues.
Is this a preview of games to come?
This year’s squad boasts quality depth and experience that should prove fruitful as the season unfolds. Anchored by seven pre-season All-Americans in Nick Mellon, Brendan Curry, Brett Kennedy, Peter Dearth, Tucker Dordevic, Porter and Scanlan, SU will be ready when it faces seven Top 20 opponents this season.
The 5th-ranked Orange will host Binghamton Saturday, Feb. 15. It will be the second of four Dome games before SU closes out its home slate at C-NS stadium while the Dome construction heads into another phase.