The third-ranked Orange return to the Carrier Dome for their only home game of the month to take on in-state rival St. John’s at 4 PM. The Orange enter the game with a 4-0 record, with their last game coming off of a win against Virginia 14-13 last week in Charlottesville. Meanwhile, the Red Storm are 1-5, but gave Yale a run for their money, as they were up 7-1 at one point in the third quarter. Their only win came last weekend at home against Siena.
The Orange have adjusted nicely with the departures of guys such as Kevin Rice, Randy Staats, Nicky Galasso, and Henry Schoonmaker, amongst others in their first four games. Dylan Donahue leads the team with 13 assists and 21 points, and had a five-point affair last week against the Cavaliers. Tim Barber has played the past three games at attack with graduate transfer Nick Piroli sidelined with an injury. Barber’s second on the team with 12 points, but also had a five-point night last week against Virginia.
Who had Derek DeJoe leading the team with nine goals so far this year? DeJoe has been excellent, and was moved up to the first midfield unit last week, where he scored a hat-trick. He’s picked the corners very well, and he’s now not just a man-up specialist with a triple-digit shot. Junior transfer Nick Mariano had a huge game last week, as he had a hat-trick in what could be his coming-out party. Sergio Salcido has also provided the midfield with some fire power.
On defense, Brandon Mullins and freshman Nick Mellen have meshed very well together so far, along with Jay McDermott. Ben Williams is still dominating faceoffs week after week, and Warren Hill has set career-highs in saves the past two weeks. He had 13 last week after making 10 saves the week before.
For the Johnnies, their top scorer might be familiar to some Syracuse lacrosse fans. It’s senior Eric DeJohn, who’s from the area and started his career with the Orange before transferring to the Red Storm. DeJohn has 22 points this season, which is two more than sophomore Jason DeBenedictis. DeBenedictis has a team-high 17 goals on the season. Outside of those two and freshman attackman Declan Swartwood, the Johnnies have a balanced offense. They trust on guys like James Bonanno and Nick Heller to provide some supplemental offense.
On defense, they lost Mark DiFrangia from a year ago, and went with juniors Jack McClellan and Kyle Skramko, and sophomore John Saunders. Justin Corpolongo will have to go against Williams again at the faceoff “x” as he went 7-for-21 in last year’s meeting in Kennesaw, Georgia. Last week in goal, Joseph Danaher had a phenomenal first half, before being replaced by freshman Michael O’Keeffe, who gave up 12 goals in the second half.
The Orange have never lost to the Red Storm in nine total meetings since they first met back in 1990. Last year, the Orange defeated the Johnnies 14-6 in Kennesaw. This will be the first time St. John’s visits the Carrier Dome since 2011. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.