MSOC : Syracuse optimistic about future despite missing out on postseason again

first_img Comments Published on November 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Rachel: [email protected] The talk at the start of the season in September surrounded the number of new players on Ian McIntyre’s Syracuse squad — all 19 of them.The group constitutes more than half of the team and was expected to fit in and help the Orange improve on its two-win season in 2010. The newcomers didn’t provide much of a boost for SU in the win column this season, but they made progress in McIntyre’s second season at the helm.‘I think everyone had a big impact,’ said Louis Clark, one of those new faces. ‘I came here with Phil Boerger last spring, and he was outstanding this year. The freshmen that have come in, they’re going to be the foundation of this program. They’re the ones that are going to take it to the next level.’Syracuse had another disappointing season, finishing 3-12-1 overall and 1-7-1 in Big East play — a slight improvement over last season’s winless conference record. The Orange’s inability to finish off games proved to be its Achilles’ heel in 2011, as the team lost six of its games in the last five minutes or in overtime. SU lost to DePaul on Saturday to end its season and missed the conference tournament for the sixth straight year.The team struggled again, but its young players gained valuable experience for the future.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSeven of SU’s top-10 scoring leaders were new to the team this year. Three were freshmen.The new players meshed with returning players like Nick Roydhouse and Mark Brode, providing chemistry on the field for the Orange. But the results did not follow.Roydhouse, SU’s senior captain, places much of the blame on himself.‘I think I was a letdown,’ Roydhouse said. ‘I could of done a lot better than what I did. Obviously how we performed and our results is a reflection of me as well. It wasn’t the best, so I hope that whoever takes over next year does a better job.’Roydhouse has a harsh critique of himself. He was arguably the Orange’s most reliable player. He scored three goals and added three assists, placing him second on the team in points only behind Clark. And he often got in the heads of opposing players, standing in front of them or making a statement to throw them off course.But as SU’s head coach McIntyre has said all season long, evaluations are based off of wins and losses. And Roydhouse knows that.‘In the end it turned out to be a disappointing season in terms of results,’ Roydhouse said. ‘That’s what it’s about. It’s about winning. That’s what you pretty much base everything off of.’In addition to the team’s struggle to finish games, the Orange also had trouble winning close games. SU lost all 12 of its games by one goal.If the Orange had put away opponents like Villanova and South Florida, it could have made the Big East tournament. But SU didn’t perform well enough to win those games.Still, McIntyre is optimistic about the program’s future. The head coach was happy to see his team competitive and in position to win games this season.‘We didn’t fulfill our goals to make the Big East tournament,’ McIntyre said. ‘But I do feel that we made some progress. The team scored twice as many goals as last year and we conceded fewer. Had some real tough losses along the way. We had a lot of new faces; I think seven freshmen played. So I think that sets us up if we continue to work, continue to strive for self-improvement. I think the future could be quite bright.’But even for Clark — who believed this team was better than its record all season long — this season is still one that got away. In arguably SU’s best game of the season against Cincinnati, it earned its only Big East win and showed a flash of greatness in a 4-2 win.So positives can come out of a losing season. But the overall sentiment of the team is that the Orange didn’t reach its goals.‘We didn’t do as well as I think we should have,’ Clark said. ‘We could have done so much better.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img