#40 Syracuse Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Syracuse Orange

Overall Rank: #40
#9 ACC
#40 Syracuse Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Syracuse Team Page


The first year in the ACC was a tough one for Syracuse. The Orange were very good in the non-conference part of their schedule, going 7-0, but they struggled in their new home in the ACC. Coming off a 2012 season where the Orange were in the Sweet 16, last year was a bit of a step back, but last year prepares Syracuse well for this season. A number of young players saw quality playing time, and with every key player back, that bodes well for Syracuse’s 2014 chances.

2013 Record: 10-7-1, 3-7-1
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Ian McIntyre

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Emil Ekblom, Sophomore, F, 10
Assists: Jordan Murrell, Senior, D, 6
Shots: Emil Ekblom, Sophomore, F, 49
Saves: Alex Bono, Junior, GK, 55

Other Key Returnees: M Alex Halis, F Chris Nanco, M Nick Perea, M Juuso Pasanen, M Stefanos Stamoulacatos, D Oyvind Alseth, D Skylar Thomas, D Chris Makowski, D Brandon Albert

Key Losses: None

Syracuse’s biggest strength this season will be their experience. The Orange return 14 players who saw action in at least 13 games last season, and add in a high level Division I transfer. A trio of sophomores are back for their second season and they will lead the attack. Emil Ekblom’s ten goals and three assists had him ranked 33rd in the nation in both goals scored and points per game, while Alex Halis and Chris Nanco added six and four goals, respectively. Halis was key for the Orange in crunch time, as four of his six goals were game winners. Providing support is the solid midfield trio of Juuso Pasanen, Nick Para and Stefanos Stamoulacatos, three upperclassmen who don’t have a big impact on the score sheet, but all play important roles. The backline returns five players who started at least nine games in 2013, as well as goalkeeper Alex Bono, who played every minute for Syracuse last season. Akron transfer Louis Cross, an England native who started 13 games at the college soccer powerhouse program last season, joins the group of defenders to form a backline that has a lot of games under their belt.

Syracuse returns some weapons offensively, but as a whole, there is a lot to improve in that department. The Orange ranked in the bottom half of the ACC in both assists and points, and were just fifth in goals scored. The sophomore trio of Ekblom, Halis and Nanco scored 20 combined goals last season, while the rest of the team put up just 10 all together. If Syracuse is going to improve, they will need to get better production to balance out the scoring. Subs Grant Chong and Noah Rhynhart could be the difference makers in this category. Chong played in 18 games, totaling 706 minutes and Rhynhart played in 16 games, totaling 399 minutes, but they could only come up with a goal and an assist apiece. If one of these players can turn into a legitimate threat off the bench, improvement is likely for Syracuse in 2014.

Final Projection:
With every key player back, expectations should rise for Syracuse. The first goal for the team is improving on the 3-7-1 conference mark they posted last year. With Maryland moving to the Big Ten, some teams have a chance to move up and Syracuse is one of those teams. There is enough talent and production back on this team that Syracuse could find themselves in the mix for a NCAA Tournament spot, but it just comes down to whether or not Syracuse can hold up against the ACC teams.

Projected Postseason: None

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.67 (38th in nation, 5th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.03 (60, 6)
Shutout Percentage: 0.44 (30, 2)
Save Percentage:  0.743 (117, 6)

Madness 2014 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#125 Daniel Apajee
#139 Troy Carrington Jr.


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Men's Soccer Previews