The ACC announced its All-Conference team on Thursday. The players are voted on by the ACC coaches. While the Duke Blue Devils lead all teams with five players on the list, the Syracuse Orange come up next with four. Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Virginia each have three representatives. The Conference’s individual awards will be announced after the completion of the ACC Championship.
Sergio Salcido and Nick Mariano are two of four midfielders on the list. Salcido is the SU assist leader and is first amongst all ACC players with 2.33 assists per game which is good enough for ninth overall in the country. Mariano leads the Orange in goals and points with 29 and 43 respectively. He sits fourth in goals per game in the Conference and on an SU squad that is the second best man-up team in the country, Mariano is tied for second in the ACC in EMO goals with 5. Syracuse has had nine one-goal games this year and Mariano had the game winner in two of them with a total of three on the season, tying him with Luke Goldstock for most GWs this year.
The duo of Salcido and Mariano has created, for the second straight year, a problem for opposing coaches, forcing them to double pole the two or cover all three attackman.
Senior Scott Firman is fifth in the ACC in caused turnovers per game with 1.08. He has 25 groundballs and 13 caused turnovers this year. After losing its top defenseman in Nick Mellen prior to the start of the season, not a whole lot was expected from the defensive unit, but Firman has stepped up and been a rock for this defense.
The final SU player chosen is Ben Williams. The ACC actually put two faceoff specialists on the All-Conference team, Duke’s Kyle Rowe being the other. While Williams has busted through most of the Syracuse record book, there is no shying away from the fact that his statistics are down this year. Going head-to-head against Rowe, Willaims went a dismal 4-18, although he may have still been hampered by injury. While North Carolina has the best faceoff winning percentage in the ACC, Syracuse is only .002 percent behind. Williams is actually tied with UVA’s Jason Murphy for second in the ACC in faceoff winning percentage at .552. He is averaging 6 groundballs per game, good enough for third in the ACC.
With the ACC Tournament beinging on Friday, Williams may get another shot to take on Rowe if both make it to the Championship game.
The Syracuse Orange and North Carolina Tar Heels will take to the field for the ACC Semifinals on Friday at 6 PM. The game can be seen on ESPNEWS and heard on TK99/105. Of course you can always follow me @Orangelax for updates.