Freshmen dominate as SU pounds Manhattan

Alex Halis and Chris Nanco of Ontario Canada scored two goals a piece as the Orange cruise to a 4-1 victory.

When No. 17 Syracuse (3-1-0) took to the field on Monday night, it came with a vengeance. Coming off a disappointing loss in overtime last week against Virginia Tech, Syracuse was determined to improve its offensive production against winless Manhattan (0-3-0).

Fortunately, it was the freshmen that anchored the offense once again as the Orange cruised to a 4-1 victory. Alex Halis scored two goals and assisted both of Chris Nanco’s goals against the Jaspers.

Both freshmen have built quite the chemistry, dating back to their playing days at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School in Ontario, Canada. Through their first three games playing soccer at the Division 1 level, it has certainly been a development that both players can build on.

“We’ve grown up together,” Halis said of Nanco. “He’s seen me at my worst and at my best, and we want to take it to another level. We’re ahead of the game.”

The attitude of Halis after the victory represented the maturity that exists with both freshmen. They had an impressive game offensively, but that did not stop them from focusing on the immediate improvements that need to be made, particularly with controlling the offensive tempo.

“We need to work a bit harder.” Halis said. “I don’t think we did that. We’ll get better everyday. We just have to get better in practice and we’ll be good.”

Head coach Ian McIntyre was pleased with the contribution from the freshmen, realizing the importance that they have on this young squad. He noted how he was intrigued by Nanco’s performance coming off the bench.

“Chris didn’t start today,” McIntyre said, “but I thought when he came on, he made a difference in the game. He provided us with some real energy and directness.”

Following tonight’s game, it was evident that the mindset of the two freshmen and their veteran head coach was to quickly begin preparing for the Friday night showdown against Notre Dame.

McIntyre realized he needs everyone, including Halis and Nanco, to elevate their game to another level for their next match up.

“We know that Notre Dame is an outstanding team; A team that can go on and win a national championship,” McIntyre said. “We’ll go back and start working tomorrow. We know that we are going to have to raise our game on Friday.”


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