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Two Syracuse players were selected in the 2022 Premier Lacrosse League draft on Monday night. The Chaos picked long-stick midfielder Brett Kennedy with the sixth overall pick in the first round. The Atlas picked midfielder Brendan Curry in the middle of the second round with the 13th overall pick.
Kennedy shifted to the Orange’s top cover defender before the start of the 2022 season. He finished the year second on the team in caused turnovers with 17, recording 36 ground balls. Kennedy didn’t find the back of the net at all this season, instead assisting on four goals. But he tied a career high with four caused turnovers and picked up four ground balls in a 14-9 win over Stony Brook.
Last season, Kennedy found more success with SU, finishing second on the team with 15 caused turnovers and leading all non-faceoff specialists with 46 ground balls en route to being named an Inside Lacrosse Honorable Mention All-American. He collected a career-high eight ground balls and caused three turnovers to help the Orange defense hold Virginia to 11 goals in their second upset win over the Cavaliers in 2021.
Before playing long-stick midfielder the last two seasons, Kennedy also saw time as a close defender for the Orange. He played two games at close defense in 2021, but saw the most time at the position in his redshirt freshman season after filling in for an injured Tyson Bomberry. He saw time in all 15 games in 2018, leading all field players with 42 total ground balls for the season.
“The one-on-one is a violent confrontation,” Kennedy’s former high school coach Sean Kelly said. “And if you watch Brett play, Brett plays violently and he plays full speed.”
Chaos, coming off a 2021 PLL Championship win, have four long-stick midfielders on their roster and two defenders. Kennedy could play at either position and he’s the lone Syracuse player on the squad.
Curry went off the board seven picks after Kennedy to Atlas, who lost to Chaos in the semifinals last season. Curry played at Syracuse for five seasons, passing his father, Todd Curry, on Syracuse’s all-time scoring list in the Orange’s final game against Notre Dame.
“Probably one of the coolest moments of my life, being able to look up at him,” Curry said. “He’s the reason I’m here at Syracuse, he’s the reason why I’m wearing this number and he’s taught me everything I know about the game.”
Curry was named an Inside Lacrosse Honorable Mention Midseason All-American, leading Syracuse in assists with 19 while trailing only Tucker Dordevic with 34 goals. Curry said that every season at Syracuse had its little “twists” to it, with the pandemic particularly ending a 2020 5-0 run in which Curry was a part of Syracuse’s nation-leading midfield line that scored nearly 11 points per game.
Curry erupted into Syracuse’s starting rotation as a freshman in 2018, appearing in all 15 games on the team’s first line midfield. He notched 17 points for the season with ten goals and seven assists, improving that point total to 33 the following season. In four of his five seasons at SU, Curry was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, becoming a team captain for the last three years.
Still, some players eligible for the PLL draft weren’t selected like Jakob Phaup. Only one faceoff specialist was taken in this year’s draft, and Phaup, who’s working with The Faceoff Academy after graduating, said he was unsure if an opportunity would come at the professional level. Phaup took all but 19 faceoffs this year for the Orange, finishing 11th in the country with a 57.8% winning percentage.
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