An unfamiliar foe came in to the dome Friday afternoon and the Orange didn’t exactly roll out a welcome mat.
SU allowed Stony Brook to play along early but then scored nine straight goals en route to its third straight victory after the disappointing season-opening loss to Army.
What did we learn from the 17-9 no-doubt outcome? Here are three takeaways.
Hiltz living up to the hype
Owen Hiltz, the second-ranked recruit in Inside Lacrosse’s Power 100, may one day make the no. 77 jersey a fan favorite. In his first year on the hill, Hiltz has sparkled with some nifty stick work and a quick release.
After tallying five points on four goals and an assist, Hiltz has 12 goals and 5 assists on the campaign, second behind Stephen Rehfuss and his 10-11-21 points. Rehfuss, the fifth-year senior, collected three goals in the victory.
“I’m just out there playing lacrosse and trying to make something happen,” Hiltz said on the Zoom call. “My success comes from the whole team.”
His coach knows the already-potent Orange attack has a field general in the first-year Canadian.
“Every week he seems to get better and more confident,” John Desko admitted. “He understands the offense.”
Brendan Curry also pitched with five points on two goals and three assists.
“We have so many good players and we just played so smart,” Curry added.
First Quarter doldrums
Yes, the Orange ran away from the visiting Seawolves and it wasn’t much of a game in the second half, yet the first 15 minutes were a different story.
The Orange won’t have trouble finding reliable scoring threats from a potent offense during any given game, but Friday, until adjustments were made, it was a tight game.
The Orange committed an unsightly eight turnovers in the first quarter and it seemed very easily the score could have been closer than the three-goal margin after the initial quarter.
“They gave us a game in the first quarter,” Desko said. “We then took better care of the ball.”
Net minder Drake Porter did his best to keep the Seawolves at bay with another stellar performance and Peter Dearth collected a career-high seven ground balls. Jakob Phaub dominated at the X, especially in the first quarter and finished 16-of-25.
“All in all,” Desko said, “it was a good day for Syracuse lacrosse.”
The Orange, after a planned tilt against Hofstra, will dive headfirst into the tough ACC slate where all five teams are ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse Media polls Top Ten.
The Orange will venture away from the dome and head to North Carolina to play Duke March 25. Before that matchup, however, is the game against Hofstra out of the CAA which is tentative after the school paused all team activities due to a positive COVID-19 test within the program.
Desko said SU was alerted prior to the Stony Brook game.
If the Hofstra game is cancelled, Syracuse may try to schedule a last-minute opponent.