#28 Syracuse Men's Soccer 2013 Preview

Syracuse Orange

Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #6 ACC
#28 Syracuse Men's Soccer 2013 Preview
Syracuse Team Page


Syracuse left the Big East in style, making an improbable run to the final 16 in the NCAA Tournament. In the first round of the tournament against Cornell, the Orange did what they did during most of the regular season; took an early lead and held on. Up next was 14th seeded VCU. This time Syracuse managed to mount a comeback and eventually won 3-2 in overtime. Against Georgetown the Orange got their early lead, but with five minutes left in regulation the Hoyas forced overtime and won in penalty kicks. It was a disappointing way to lose for Coach Ian McIntyre and company, but it was a great way to build momentum heading into the ACC.

2012 Record: 14-6-1, 5-3-0
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ian McIntyre

There are five starters gone from that team, yet the Orange will remain competitive, even in the ACC, thanks to a stellar defense. The unit allowed just 17 goals in their 21 contests in 2012 and posted a dozen shutouts. Jordan Murrell garners most of the attention in the back line since he led the Orange with seven assists, but Chris Makowski, Skylar Thomas and Tyler Hilliard deserve plenty of credit as well. Makowski, a junior from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, is the experienced option in the back. He did not miss a start as a sophomore. Thomas began his freshman campaign in the starting lineup and even netted two goals before missing the second half of the year with an injury. At 6-3, Thomas is a big presence in the box and a dangerous option on set pieces. It was Hilliard who stepped into Thomas’ vacated starting spot and did an admirable job. Losing Thomas hurt in 2012, but now Hilliard’s experience has turned this into an even deeper and more talented group. Alex Bono was another player who surprised as a freshman. The 6-3 keeper totaled ten shutouts, which ranked second in the Big East. Bono’s 6-3 frame and deceptively nimble feet make him very tough to beat. Barring a sophomore slump from Bono and Thomas, the Orange defense should be even better this time around.

With four of their top five goal scorers gone, there is good reason to be apprehensive about Syracuse’s chances in 2013. Jordan Vale netted nine goals, while Lars Muller added six and Ted Cribley and Louis Clark added four a piece. Those four players also accounted for 16 total assists. That leaves Tony Asante as the only proven striker on the squad. The senior is an explosive athlete and was just a part-time starter for Coach McIntyre as a junior. If he can handle more minutes, Asante will greatly improve on his five goals and four assists of 2012. But the Orange cannot afford to have a one dimensional attack in the ACC. Grant Chong, who was used exclusively as a sub, and Ben Ramin will need to be productive up top. Stefanos Stamoulacatos, Nick Perea and Juuso Pasanen can do some scoring from the midfield. Offensively, Stamoulacatos is the most dangerous. He netted three goals and added four assists as a freshman.  

Final Projection:
Syracuse will have some tough outings in the ACC. The road schedule could be much, much worse as the Orange get Maryland, Notre Dame and Virginia at home. Besides keeping the Connecticut rivalry alive, the non-conference slate is manageable. Tallying 14 wins and another trip to the round of 16 is asking way too much, but the defense will keep this team in just about every game and they have the ability to steal a couple big wins away from the top teams in their new conference.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Tony Asante, Senior, F, 5
Assists: Jordan Murrell, Junior, D, 7
Shots: Tony Asante, Senior, F, 34
Saves: Alex Bono, Sophomore, GK, 79

Madness 2013 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#56 Benjamin Lopez


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