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Syracuse men’s soccer: Orange open 2016 season tonight against UMass

The opener is part of the Central New York Classic, which SU has hosted each of the last three seasons.

SUAC Steve Haller

The Syracuse Orange made it all the way to the College Cup last season, a.k.a. the final four for college soccer. They were on the doorstep of playing for a national title, with penalties being the only reason they went home empty. They were ACC Champions for the first time in program history. It was the most successful season that the program has ever seen.

Tonight we get to follow that up with an encore.

The Orange open up the season with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff against the Massachusetts Minutemen up at the Syracuse Soccer Stadium. Some folks have moved on, some faces remain the same, but Coach Ian McIntyre’s squad has one goal, to replicate what they were able to harness last year and head back to the Cup.

The core of the squad returns, including the entire starting defense and goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert. Miles Robinson, Louis Cross, and Kamal Miller slot in in front of him, as they have for the past season, providing a comfortable wall at the back.

There will be some holes to fill, with the departures of Julian Buescher and Ben Polk in the midfield and attack. Chris Nanco and Kenny Lassiter return as the veterans at the top of the formation. With a real quality recruiting class as well as some development from the youngsters, we should see those plugged to the degree that they can be. Newcomers Mo Adams, Johannes Pieles and Sergio Camargo have been getting run in the preseason and Jonathan Hagman and Andreas Jenssen should have an increased presence after the spring season.

I’m taking a wild stab with the above lineups, mildly based on what we had in the preseason games. We could see Ado Bakalovic starting on the right, with Oyvind Alseth slotting in the midfield as a box to box or the number 6. I don’t really know whether we’ll see Morgan Hackworth in the midfield like the spring, or newcomer Hampus Bergdahl who saw some run in the preseason. There’s a lot of talent to slot into non a lot of spots on the field, and we’ll see starting tonight how Coach Mac decides to piece the puzzle together.

It should be a new and exciting season and we’ll see how it pans out moving forward tonight. The Orange also host the Loyola Marymount Lions this Sunday, for the second round of the CNY Classic. In the meantime, feel free to hop on Snapchat and use the new SU Soccer filter for the season.