by Gary Lambrecht | | Twitter | Lambrecht Archive

Previously on

Williams is Epoch/LM Player of the Week
Crusaders’ Loss is Syracuse’s Gain in Williams
ICYMI: Ben Williams and the Syracuse Faceoff Renaissance

They’re calling Ben Williams a godsend in Syracuse. Maybe they’re onto something. He did grow up in god’s country, and he did come from Holy Cross. And after watching their faceoff men sputter for six seasons, most notably in the 2013 NCAA championship game, the Orange finally found someone to fuel their high-octane offense.

Syracuse is still Syracuse — a perennial final four contender with 11 NCAA championships in tow. Now the Orange can attack the goal, rather than milk the precious few possessions they could muster in recent seasons. “That goes against the DNA of Syracuse lacrosse,” attackman Kevin Rice said.

Williams, who is from Mendota Heights, Minn., and played his freshman season at Holy Cross, transferred to Syracuse and won the spot in the fall.

“I came here with nothing guaranteed,” Williams. “The fall was a feeling of survival. Just being on the field with these guys was special. I’m dealing with Randy Staats throwing behind-the-back passes to me that I never saw coming.”

Rice, Staats and Kevin Donahue give the Orange the nation’s most dangerous and versatile attack unit. Nicky Galasso, the fifth-year senior and one-time ACC Rookie of the Year as an attackman at North Carolina, has recovered from numerous injuries and reinvented himself as Syracuse’s best midfielder. Brandon Mullins anchors a stout defense.

But Williams, who ranked second in the NCAA with a 68.9 faceoff winning percentage at the season’s midpoint, might just be the guy that delivers title No. 12.