Fall ball has come and gone in 2021, which means the season is only a few months away.
Every year, college lacrosse fans wait in anticipation for spring so that they can get their fix (despite the seasons kicking off as early as January). Some fans fill the June to January void with professional lacrosse in the summer, while others eagerly await for September and October for fall ball.
Fall ball is the first test for freshmen and transfers in their new programs. It’s also our first glance at what the spring could eventually look like. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most interesting storylines from 2021’s fall ball.
Fall Ball 2021 Recap & Storylines
Syracuse with Gait at the Helm
One of the biggest things to come out of last June was the Gary Gait hire. It was big not just because he’s a legend in every respect, but because he was the coach of the Syracuse women’s program before moving to the men’s side. Add in another splashy hire of new defensive coordinator Dave Pietramala, and plenty of eyes were fixated on what would come out of Syracuse during fall ball.
Drawing most of my conclusions from the intrasquad scrimmage, look for this year’s ‘Cuse team to play fast and loose on offense with a noticeable difference on the defensive end, a major weakness in a disappointing 2021 season.
The Ivies are Free (mostly)
With many Ivy League teams not playing a single game last spring, everyone was excited to see what these teams look like now that they’ve been set free.
Harvard looked strong and physical in its fall ball action, as if it had been locked in a weight room for a calendar year (pretty accurate). Freshman Sam King is ready to be elite at the college level, while the defense performed close to how you’d expect a Gerry Byrne defense to perform.
After watching some fall ball film clips from Yale and hearing about Penn’s offseason work, everyone is ready to see a reenergized and hungry Ivy League this spring.
Not many sports give you the chance to see a defending national champion play Team USA, but lacrosse does.
The reigning national champions took an extremely-talented USA team to the wire, eventually falling, 8-7 in the fall ball tune up. Winning a championship is hard, winning two in a row is harder – look for UVA to have a legitimate shot at doing so this spring.