MSOC : Boerger earns starting nod in goal for SU

first_img Comments Sitting on the bench near the end of last season, Phil Boerger started to put together his exit plan from Evansville. His dissatisfaction with the losing program had become insurmountable, and after being the starting goalkeeper for half the season, the benching only made it worse. Boerger had to get out.In the last game he started for Evansville, Boerger gave up two goals in a 2-1 loss to Drake. They were the final two goals he’d ever give up for the Purple Aces. He sat on the bench for the remainder of the season.‘We definitely weren’t playing to our potential at all,’ Boerger said. ‘A lot of guys ended up leaving. I was the first guy to leave in the spring semester. I started I think it was 10 games. And then one thing kind of led to another, and I knew I was going to leave there at the end of the season.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs he watched from the bench, Boerger made up his mind to leave the program and play out his final year of eligibility elsewhere. Given his release from Evansville, Boerger was presented with some options, but none seemed better than the one Syracuse (1-2-0, 0-0 Big East) offered. It was the chance to reunite with SU assistant coach Mike Miller, who was an assistant coach at Evansville for Boerger’s first two years there, as well as an opportunity to play in the higher profile Big East conference.Now the Orange’s starting goalkeeper, Boerger, who is in his senior season, has been given the opportunity to help build the program back up to a respectable level. He’s started all three of Syracuse’s games so far in 2011 and has made 10 saves, including a six-save performance in the team’s season-opening 1-0 loss to Colgate. All told, the decision to leave Evansville turned out to be a good one so far for both him and SU.‘He’s made a couple of really good saves, important saves for us,’ head coach Ian McIntyre said. ‘I think he’s been very solid. If he continues to keep moving forward and growing, I think he can have a really important season for us.’McIntyre never guaranteed Boerger the starting spot, sparking a preseason competition mainly between the transfer and junior Ryan Jones. Also in the mix were three freshmen, but they were certainly considered the underdogs in the competition that involved two veterans.With the departure of Jeremy Vuolo, the Orange was looking for someone to step into that spot and make a seamless transition in goal.Boerger became that new face, bringing along a semblance of stability having already gone through the collegiate learning curve.Still, the Orange’s 2-10-5 record last season could have been a cause for concern to someone looking to finish out his career on a high note. SU hasn’t shown it can win consistently under McIntyre.But that wasn’t enough to dissuade Boerger from transferring.‘It was tough, obviously,’ Borger said. ‘With a record like that, it’s not appealing, at first. But looking into it, it was a great thing to be a part of to help build up. This is my last season, and hopefully I can help build onto that and maybe bring some prowess to the program.’With Boerger being named the starter, a spot McIntyre said isn’t necessarily solidified, Jones was relegated to a reserve position for yet another season after sitting behind Vuolo in 2010. But Jones said he didn’t get caught up in Boerger transferring to SU, and the ramifications that it would have on his own spot on the team.Instead, he took it as a reason to work harder. Improve every day in practice. And when given playing time in a game, capitalize on the opportunity.‘It’s disappointing that I’m not the one starting,’ Jones said. ‘But it’s definitely great to have him here just for both of us to get better. …It’s been great so far that we’ve been working together, and trying to get better as a team. ‘That’s Boerger’s goal exactly. He didn’t leave a floundering program at Evansville to join another in Syracuse. He left to resurrect a team that had fallen to the bottom of what he considers one of the best conferences in the country.With his struggles in Evansville behind him and the starting spot in Syracuse secured for now, Boerger is focusing on how far this team can go. Along with his personal rejuvenation has come a lofty vision for the future of the program.‘I know that this team can be one of the top programs in the Big East and in the country in the future,’ Boerger said. ‘I want to be part of that.’cjiseman@syr.edu Published on September 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemancenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

5 things to know before No. 20 Syracuse faces No. 5 Maryland on Wednesday

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 20 Syracuse (4-1) will travel to College Park, Maryland to play the No. 5 Terrapins (6-0) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.Here are five things you need to know before the matchup:Double troubleMaryland is the second top-five opponent the Orange will face only six games into the season.  Syracuse fell to then-No. 4 Tennessee on Nov. 20, 57-55.SU guard Brittney Sykes had a chance to tie the game with just six seconds left, but missed the first of two free throws before intentionally missing the second.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange went 0-3 against top five opponents last season and 0-6 against the top 10.“It really sucks when you lose a game by that close of a margin,” center Briana Day said. “… We’re in a desperation mode. We know we can do it. We want to prove to other people … how good we really are.”Head coach Quentin Hillsman said a win over Maryland would be a quality win on the road and have huge implications come Selection Monday. Starting point guard Alexis Peterson added that it’s easier to get upsets early in the season when it’s harder for teams to scout.Running drySyracuse has been outscored 90-71 in the third quarter this season. The Orange had to be saved by fourth quarter runs against Fordham, Washington and Rhode Island to avoid upsets.Hillsman said the defense has been solid for the full games, but that the offense needs to be more proactive.“It’s about scoring, man, we’re just not scoring,” Hillsman said. “We come out of the locker room and we’re just not productive scoring. We’ve got to be more productive scoring in the third quarter.”The Orange is outscoring its opponents 273-198 in the other quarters.In the paintMaryland boasts coaches’ All-Big Ten First Team center Brionna Jones, who is second on the team with 15.2 points per game and grabs a team-leading 10 rebounds per contest.Hillsman said the key to defending Jones is utilizing the 2-3 zone that Syracuse runs and not allowing her to get in the post one-on-one with SU’s Briana or Bria Day. He wants them to smother her off the ball to limit her touches.Briana Day said it’ll be a foot fight in the post and she’ll have to use her speed to get in front of Jones and in good position. If Briana Day can prevent Jones from scoring on rebounds, it’ll take away 15-20 of Maryland’s points, she said.“We’re a really good rebounding team and I know that Maryland is too,” Briana Day said. “If we get all of our primary rebounders down there and just box them out … we’ll be great.”Led by Jones, Maryland averages a 20.5 rebound advantage its opponents — third best in the country. Syracuse, averaging just a 0.8 advantage, is ranked 174th.Cloak and daggerSyracuse’s 14.4 steals per game ranks fourth in the country and has helped the Orange to an eighth-best 8.80 average turnover margin on the year.Peterson has spearheaded the SU defense with 23 steals this season.Movin’ On UpSyracuse rose three spots to No. 20 in the Associated Press Poll released Monday after off a 3-0 week, in which it beat Morgan State, 90-61, Washington, 66-62, and Fordham, 76-54.With a win over the Terrapins, the Orange could reach its highest-ever ranking.Last season, SU opened the season 8-1 and jumped to No. 19 in the poll — a program record. Comments Published on December 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuslast_img read more