For the past two seasons, Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre’s selections for his backline haven’t required much thought.
Kamal Miller played in and started 53 games at center back from 2016-18. Sondre Norheim started all but two games in the past two seasons. John-Austin Ricks occupied the right side of the backline for much of his first three years, starting 30 games and appearing in 51. A 2-1 overtime loss at Boston College in 2017 was the only game in the past two seasons when at least two of Miller, Norheim, and Ricks weren’t in the starting lineup.
With Miller out of eligibility, Norheim returning from an injury and Ricks taking up a role in the midfield, McIntyre has been forced to piece together an entirely new backline to start the 2019 season. The ninth-year head coach opted for two senior transfers — Nyal Higgins and Matt Orr — and freshman Noah Singelmann to round out the back three.
“We have three new guys back there,” McIntyre said. “They’ve reacted well to [not having in-game experience together]. So far, I’ve seen some really good individual defensive moments from them.”
Last season, Syracuse’s defense conceded 26 goals in 18 games (1.44 per game), …read more
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