Complete makeover: New coach McIntyre hopes to revive SU men’s soccer

first_imgFinally, the wait was over. Nearly two months of uncertainty was brought to a close. Syracuse finally had its coach. On Jan. 6, Ian McIntyre became the newest face of Syracuse men’s soccer. For the 10 SU players remaining, it had been 57 days of not knowing. ‘Everybody was nervous,’ sophomore Mawuena Agbossoumonde said. ‘People thought they were going to get cut. We tried to stay together and comfort each other.’ The SU players could now exhale.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text They had become familiar with McIntyre’s style during his time as head coach at Hartwick, a team two hours away in Oneonta, N.Y., that SU had faced three of the past four years. A native of Basildon, England, McIntyre moved to the United States in 1992 to play soccer at Hartwick. After graduating in 1996, he entered into the coaching world. Three jobs and more than 100 career wins later, McIntyre is now leading the Orange. Known as a hard-nosed defender during his playing days, nothing has changed in his philosophies as a coach. He expects the best from himself and his players. He looks to play aggressively, attack constantly and simply outwork the other team. ‘Once we found out that we had an admirable, winning coach that was coming in here, we were all just pumped up,’ SU sophomore defender David Neumann said. Now that the wait is over, now that there is a coach, the men’s soccer program begins an overhaul. Nineteen seasons under former head coach Dean Foti produced zero trips to the NCAA tournament and just one win in the Big East tournament. McIntyre must fix that program, one coming off its worst season since 1971 and one that has finished above .500 just once since the turn of the century. That is McIntyre’s challenge. The enigma he must solve. Let the rebuilding begin. ‘I’ll remember that one’ Syracuse left a mark on Ian McIntyre from his playing days. An impression of sorts, only it’s more permanent. It’s with him every day. It’s been there ever since an overtime loss to the Orange in 1994. ‘Thankfully, one of the scars on my face is smaller because the Syracuse doctor did a good job that particular night,’ McIntyre said. McIntyre said someone nicked him with a ‘misplaced elbow.’ He was stitched up by the SU medical staff at halftime and returned to the game. Typical hard-nosed McIntyre. ‘It’s his passion,’ said Jamie Mullin, associate director of athletics for team services at SU. ‘He wears it on his sleeve.’ McIntyre earned a reputation as an aerial force. A skill that was vital on defense from his sweeper position and also on set pieces in the attacking third. ‘He was the most dominant header of the ball in Division I soccer when he played,’ said Carl Rees, a former Hartwick assistant coach. That unique talent nearly guided Hartwick to the final four in McIntyre’s sophomore season. After tallying game-winning goals against Rutgers and Boston University in the opening two rounds of the 1993 NCAA tournament, McIntyre headed in a goal that was disallowed in the quarterfinals against Princeton, Rees said. The referee called McIntyre for using his hands to climb up a defender. ‘Anybody who saw Mac play knew he didn’t need any kind of a stepladder to win a headed ball,’ Rees said. ‘I’ll certainly remember that one because we would have been on our way to the final four.’ A frustrated former player If it weren’t for one play, McIntyre might not have ended up in Syracuse at all. After his senior season in 1995, he was selected to play in the Umbro Classic, a collegiate all-star game, and scored the first goal. An own goal. It put his team down 1-0. And it put professional dreams out of McIntyre’s head. ‘Ultimately, I wasn’t good enough to go on and play professionally,’ McIntyre said. ‘So now I’m one of the many frustrated former players who are now coaches.’ Ever since, he’s dedicated his life to coaching. Upon graduating from Hartwick in 1996, McIntyre was hired to be an assistant coach by Rees, who had gone on to become the head coach at Fairfield. There, he helped guide the Stags to their first ever national ranking in 1998. His work as an assistant landed him a head coaching job at Oneonta State. From 1999-2002, McIntyre compiled three 10-win seasons. And then McIntyre got his big chance. Following the retirement of Hartwick’s head coach James Lennox, McIntyre, who was just down the road at Oneonta State, was eager to step in. ‘Hartwick is my alma matter,’ he said. ‘It’s a special place in my life.’ McIntyre led the Hawks from 2003-09, leaving as the second-winningest coach in school history. He posted a .633 winning percentage, going 71-36-25 in his time at the helm. He helped bring the team back to the NCAA tournament in 2005 for the first time in 10 years. Regardless of the school, McIntyre’s tendencies as a player have permeated his coaching philosophies. Strong defense and an emphasis on playing the ball aggressively up the field have gotten him to Syracuse, and now he looks to implement those same concepts with the Orange. ‘If you don’t give up goals, the other team can’t beat you,’ he said. ‘I do feel that the foundation and the bedrock of our program is the ability to individually and collectively defend.’ Four of McIntyre’s players from Hartwick transferred to Syracuse, and three of them play either defense or goalkeeper. Where former SU head coach Dean Foti had a more possession-oriented style, McIntyre is much more aggressive. Foti looked to work the ball through each third of the field ? defenders to midfielders to forwards. McIntyre relies on his defenders and goalkeeper to play the ball forward and initiate the attack more quickly. That style should help the Orange score more goals than it did a season ago, when the team averaged fewer than one goal per game. Said McIntyre: ‘I believe coaching is what I do best.’ Changing the culture It’s going to take time. Syracuse men’s soccer will not become a power overnight. Four games into the season, the team has a record of 1-3. The same as last year. It has scored fewer goals and allowed just as many. At times, it hasn’t looked pretty. It’s just going to take time. ‘Certainly we are evaluated on winning and losing,’ McIntyre said. ‘(But) I believe the winning and the results will take care of themselves as we continue to work hard and improve in more areas.’ And the team is improving. After it opened the season with an embarrassing 5-1 home loss to Siena, the defense has started to come around. Only three goals allowed in the last three games. The team has already posted a shutout, as well. That feat took 10 games a year ago. It’s getting better day by day. ‘You can see in practice and in games that he’s building it step by step so that it can go well in the long run,’ said sophomore defender Jakob Karlgren, who followed McIntyre from Hartwick. The learning curve is to be expected. Twenty of 30 players are new to SU. They are taking time to learn the new system and learn about each other. McIntyre is trying to change the perception of the program, Mullin said, and he can’t be evaluated on wins and losses, alone, this season. ‘Year one, what you want to be able to do is establish a culture,’ said Mullin, who played a role in hiring McIntyre at SU. ‘You want to build a foundation for the program moving forward.’ The players have bought into his system. Fitness has improved. Tempo of the game has improved. The family atmosphere has returned, and last year’s internal strife is a thing of the past. The rebuilding has definitely begun. ‘There’s a bunch of good things he has up his sleeve,’ senior goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo said. ‘Everyone here at Syracuse is starting to appreciate that.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on September 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: | @Michael_Cohen13last_img read more

Syracuse adds guard Raven Fox to incoming Class of 2015

first_imgSyracuse has signed guard Raven Fox for its incoming Class of 2015, SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said in a statement on Wednesday.Fox is the fifth member of the Orange’s 2015-16 recruiting class, which is ranked No. 21 nationally by Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.“Raven is an exceptional athlete with the ability to score from all spots on the floor,” Hillsman said in the statement. “She is a fierce competitor that played in arguably one of the best leagues in the country, where she was the leading scorer.”Fox, from Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, led the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference with 17.7 points per game. She also collected 4.5 rebounds per game. She was named to the All-Gazette First Team and All-WCAC First Team. She earned All-WCAC third team her junior season. The Washington Post named her All-Met Honorable Mention.Fox tallied 12 20-point performances her senior season and, on Feb. 23, dropped 36 points against Good Counsel (Maryland).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFox joins Julia Chandler (Toronto, Canada), Davida Dale (Providence, Rhode Island), Abby Grant (Suwanee, Georgia), and Jade Phillips (Raleigh, North Carolina) in Syracuse’s incoming class. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm Contact Sam: | @Sam4TRlast_img read more

Badgers seek to break winless streak at B1G tournament

first_imgA high-level performance from Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren will be essential against Indiana’s leading scorer, forward Cody Zeller. Zeller leads IU with 15.5 points per game.[/media-credit]It’s no secret that the Badgers have struggled in the Big Ten Tournament the past three years, failing to register a single win. On Friday, Wisconsin will seek to end its streak of three consecutive one-and-done conference tournament appearances when it takes on Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.Wisconsin (23-8, 12-6 Big Ten), the No. 4 seed in the tournament, will face Indiana (25-7, 11-7 Big Ten), the No. 5 seed, for just the second time this season. The Badgers previously bested the Hoosiers – who reached Friday’s matchup with a 75-58 trouncing of Penn State in the first round of the conference tournament – by a score of 57-50 Jan. 26 at the Kohl Center.In a tale of two sides of basketball, the best scoring defense in the nation will face off against the best scoring offense in the conference. Wisconsin currently allows opponents on average to score just 51.9 points per game, while Indiana scores an average of 77.5 points per game. Come Friday afternoon, something will have to give.If the Badgers hope to break their cold streak in the conference tournament they will need another solid game from junior big men Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans. The two combined last time around to hold Indiana’s two leading scorers, freshman Cody Zeller and junior Christian Watford, to a combined 19 points. Berggren displayed an aggressive style of defense rarely seen, swatting five Indiana shots while Evans nearly earned a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.Currently, Indiana’s frontcourt duo averages a total of 27.3 points per game, with Zeller and Watford averaging 15.5 and 11.8 points a game, respectively. The Hoosiers also contain an extremely balanced offense, with four players averaging double figures.Indiana, who currently ranks tops in the conference for 3-point shooting at 43 percent, features six players who shoot over 40 percent. Leading the Hoosiers in three-point prowess is senior Matt Roth, who leads the entire Big Ten with an outrageous 57 percent conversion rate from behind the arc. Complimenting Roth is junior Jordan Hull, who is second in the Big Ten behind his senior classmate with a 3-point accuracy rating of 48 percent. Their success will face a stern test in the Badger defense, which currently holds opponents on average to 27 percent a game from three, good for tops in the nation.The game could be decided on how the Badgers, not the Hoosiers, shoot from beyond the arc. While Wisconsin beat Indiana in their previous meeting shooting just 4-of-17 from beyond the arc (23 percent) there haven’t been many instances the Badgers have escaped with a win while shooting poorly. In the Badgers’ 23 wins, the team has shot on average 39 percent from deep, compared to 25 percent on average in their eight losses. In games where the Badgers have shot 35 percent or more from three, the team is 18-2 compared to 5-6 in games they shoot below 35 percent.The Badgers – whose offense ranks in the bottom three of the conference at 63.8 points a game – will look to benefit offensively from the recent emergence of senior Rob Wilson, who came on nicely in the final stretch of Wisconsin’s conference schedule. In the past six games, Wilson has averaged 17 minutes on the floor while contributing six points per contest. Wilson’s recent contributions have been a major shot in the arm for a Badger offense that struggles at times, as the team comes into the tournament on a three-game winning streak. The Badgers will hope Wilson compliments star point guard Jordan Taylor’s offensive production, as the leader of the Badgers puts in a team-best 14.6 points per game.The winner of Friday afternoon’s game will face either No. 1 seed Michigan State or No. 8 seed Iowa.last_img read more