Freshman Alseth develops into one of conference’s best right backs

first_img Published on November 6, 2013 at 2:33 am Contact Josh: In the 68th minute of Syracuse’s 1-0 loss to Maryland on Oct. 26, defender Oyvind Alseth sent a free kick on net that clanked off the right goal post and deflected aside.A few days later, SU head coach Ian McIntyre said he chastised Alseth, in jest, for not being able to control the shot enough to have it deflect in the opposite direction and into the goal.“If he can improve that by about two or three inches, that would help,” McIntyre joked.That is the kind of season it has been for Alseth, the freshman right back who has started all 17 games for the Orange (10-6-1, 3-6-1 Atlantic Coast) and is second on the team with four assists. His play has been so exceptional that the only thing McIntyre has to nitpick is the direction in which one of his free kicks ricocheted.“I think he’s already demonstrated that he’s one of the better right backs in our conference,” McIntyre said. “And that’s saying a lot.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Syracuse freshmen Emil Ekblom, Alex Halis and Chris Nanco are the top three point scorers on the team and were each named to’s Men’s Freshmen Top 100 list, Alseth has quietly been one of the Orange’s most consistent players.“They’re getting a lot of credit, but they’re also scoring goals to help us win games,” Alseth said. “I’m not a guy that strives to get the credit for winning games. Of course it’s hard to win games from the defense. You can play a good game with nobody even noticing.”As a freshman, Alseth is the youngest defender on an otherwise all-junior back line. Regardless, the Norwegian has been a major component of a defense that has paved the way for goalkeeper Alex Bono to share the ACC’s lead in shutouts.Alseth has also started a few games in the midfield. In the 105th minute of SU’s game against Binghamton on Oct. 1, Alseth capped a spectacular performance with a 30-yard strike that set up Halis’ game-winning goal.After the team’s 2-1 overtime win that night, midfielder Nick Perea called Alseth one of the best players on the entire team.“He’s a quality soccer player,” McIntyre said. “He’s a specialist right back, but he also played in the midfield when he was younger. He’s a good soccer player and when asked, he did very well in there.”Three days later against North Carolina State, Alseth slotted a through pass into the box for Ekblom, who beat the goalkeeper for his third goal of the night.Against Albany on Oct. 22, Alseth sent a corner kick into the box that was directed off the head of Juuso Pasanen into the far right corner of the net. The goal gave the Orange a 1-0 advantage after not being able to capitalize on eight shots and seven corner kicks in the first half.“He’s great with his feet, great technique and he sees the field really well,” junior defender Chris Makowski said. “I expect a lot of things from him because of the level he’s played at.”Alseth said the major difference between Norwegian and American soccer is playing two games every week. But with the help of junior defenders, especially Jordan Murrell, he has gotten used to American collegiate soccer.Not only has Alseth seamlessly fit into the Syracuse lineup, but he has also become a mainstay and someone the team relies on to contribute strong defense on a nightly basis.Said Makowski: “If he keeps his fitness up and keeps doing things right, I think he’ll be a crucial part of our team (for the next few years).” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Dino Babers: ‘I just need to see something different’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments At his weekly press conference Monday, Dino Babers consistently referred to his desire to see something different defensively. “The big thing is we’re trying to get a change,” Babers said. “I’ve already mentioned previously that I just need to see something different. I just thought we weren’t moving in the direction I thought we should be moving in.”It was his first time addressing the media since firing defensive coordinator Brian Ward after giving up nearly 500 rushing yards to Boston College. Diving straight into questions — and letting reporters bring up the topic of Ward’s dismissal — Babers said he thinks Syracuse (3-6, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) needs to put its best defensive personnel in positions to impact the game more ahead of a matchup at Duke (4-5, 2-3), though he didn’t specify what that might look like. To date, Babers hasn’t seen it and decided that the time had come to make a change.“It wasn’t one thing, but it was a lot of things,” Babers said, “which I’m not going to get into.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCurrently, defensive ends coach Steve Stanard is serving as the interim defensive coordinator. He’ll have a “blank slate” to start “painting a portrait” that Babers will use to judge whether he wants to keep Stanard in the position or seek outside talent. Ward, who served as Babers’ defensive coordinator for the head coach’s entire tenure at SU and Babers’ last year at Bowling Green until his firing, led a defense that’s regressed this year. After pitching a shutout in the opener, the Orange’s defense was missing in action against Maryland, a 43-point drubbing. After a strong start against Clemson the following week, it seemed the beatdown in College Park might’ve been an aberration.But after keeping Syracuse afloat while the offense floundered against North Carolina State and Pittsburgh, the Orange defense finally cracked. In two games against Florida State and Boston College, SU surrendered 93 points, 737 rushing yards and struggled to tackle on first contact, let alone make enough impactful plays. For Babers, it was time for a tough call.“When something like this happens it’s really, extremely personal,” Babers said. “You’re talking about someone that has been a part of our family for a long time.”Ward stuck to the base 4-3 and nickel schemes that have been staples of his time in charge of SU’s defense. And running some of the same sets that the Orange dominated in 2018 with, Syracuse never got the turnovers and impact plays it needed. The stars of last year — Andre Cisco, Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman — haven’t come close to matching prior production, either.It’s unclear what changes in personnel, schemes and play calling tendencies Stanard might bring. But in a season where Babers has already said SU’s “best players have to be our best players,” it’s likely Stanard and the rest of the coaching staff will shake it up to unlock their stars and, hopefully, the rest of the defense.Other notesWith only three games remaining, defensive lineman McKinley Williams, who has missed every game with a lower-left leg injury, will be eligible to medically redshirt — as will center Sam Heckel. Babers said he wouldn’t expect Williams to make a return this season.Babers was barely asked about the Blue Devils, SU’s upcoming opponent, but did laud Duke head coach David Cutcliffe as the smartest coach in the conference, calling him “the smartest guy in the room” when all 14 coaches are together 0n media day. center_img Published on November 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Grahamlast_img read more