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Through the first three weeks in the Class of 2022 recruiting cycle, Syracuse has one of its most successful recruiting classes in recent memory. The Orange have two five-stars after just two in their last five cycles. They’ve notched decisions from every position, recruited the No. 1 overall prospect and are in the top four schools for the class’ No. 2 prospect, Dom Pietramala.
Since the recruiting period opened on Sept. 1, with a commitment from midfielder Zach Mercado, the Orange have a combined 26 stars across its commits — trailing just Virginia (27), North Carolina (29) and Notre Dame (34). They secured 47 stars with 13 recruits in 2020, and that dropped to just 20 stars for 12 recruits in 2021.
Here’s an overview of the Orange’s latest recruiting class.
Joey Spallina, five-star attack
Spallina, the class’s No. 1 overall prospect from Mount Sinai (New York) High School, committed to Syracuse last Tuesday after announcing his final four schools the night before. During the 2019 season, Spallina finished third in Suffolk County with 131 points on 65 goals and 66 assists.
Carter Kempney, five-star midfielder
Kempney became SU’s first five-star commit for the Class of 2022 — and just the third at the time in the last five cycles — when he announced his decision on Sept. 14. The Carthage High School midfielder, attending the same high school as former Syracuse All-Americans Casey, Mike and Ryan Powell, scored 29 goals and added seven assists during the 2019 season. One of his older sisters, Braelie, is currently a junior on the Orange’s women’s lacrosse team while the other, Kailah, graduated in 2015 as their leader in career draw controls and currently coaches at Colorado.
Jimmy McCool, four-star goalie
Entering his junior year at New Hampton (New Hampshire) School, McCool became the first goalie in Syracuse’s Class of 2022 when he committed on Sept. 13. During his freshman season, McCool split time in goal and helped the Huskies finish 10-5 in 2019.
“I’m not the most orthodox goalie,” McCool told The Daily Orange. “I definitely love to maybe get out of position. I like to kinda have fun in the net.”
Michael Leo, four-star attack
Leo, who committed on Sept. 10, was the first attackman to join Syracuse’s latest recruiting class. The lefty helped St. Anthony’s (New York) High School finish 15-1 in 2019 and scored 14.25 goals per game.
George Wandoff, four-star defender
In his first 25 games at Oxbridge Academy in Florida, Wandoff accumulated 55 ground balls and five points. During a 2019 playoff run that ended with a loss to St. Andrew’s, Wandoff helped the Thunderwolves finish 17-4 and win 11 of their first 12 games.
Chuck Kuczynski, four-star defender
When Kuczynski committed on Sept. 15, he was the first defender to join Syracuse’s Class of 2022. A junior at Allentown Central Catholic High School and member of the Big 4 HHH 2022 club team, he helped the Vikings to a 12-4 record in 2019, according to the school’s MaxPreps page. In those 16 games, Kuczynski and Allentown Central Catholic’s defense held opposing teams to under eight goals per game.
“They really just put in the back of my mind that there’s a huge opportunity to be a part of that program and possibly be one of the All-Americans,” Kuczynski told Sports Illustrated. “They are such a powerhouse there, it was really hard to pass that up.”
Gavin Gibbs, unranked face-off specialist
As a junior at Notre Dame-Green Pond (Pennsylvania) High School, Gibbs was the first face-off specialist to commit to Syracuse in the Class of 2022. By the time he plays his first game for the Orange, the top three specialists on SU’s current roster — Danny Varello, Jakob Phaup and Nate Garlow — will all have graduated. The Orange have two other faceoff specialists on their current roster, with one three-star commit in 2021 and one four-star in 2022.
Vincent Trujillo, unranked midfielder
Trujillo, who committed to Syracuse on Sept. 9, became the Orange’s second verbal commit since the cycle opened. According to Inside Lacrosse’s Ty Xanders, he’s “likely the best pure d-middie in the class right now.” The midfielder from St. John’s College High School helped the Cadets finish 12-6 in 2019 and 3-0 in 2020 before the coronavirus shut down the rest of their season.
Zach Mercado, unranked midfielder
Mercado is the first commit from Austin, Texas, for the Orange in more than a decade. The first verbal commit in Syracuse’s Class of 2022, he’s coached by former Syracuse All-American Dom Fin at Iron Horse, and scored 19 goals and 24 points across seven games during a shortened 2020 season.
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