MSOC : Freshmen wait until spring for playing time
Charles Schoening is not surprised his name hasn’t shown up in the box scores. The freshman midfielder on the Syracuse men’s soccer team expected his first season to be all about development – and it has been.
So while Schoening and other freshmen teammates have struggled to find playing time, it doesn’t mean their coach isn’t pleased with their development.
‘Right now we like the progress of all of them,’ SU head coach Dean Foti said. ‘(We’ve told them) your time is going to come in the spring when all these guys graduate and you’re going to go from not playing at all to maybe the first guy off the bench, or maybe in the starting lineup in some cases.’
SU hosts Adelphi at 7 p.m. tonight in its last non-conference game of the season. With a win, the Orange will complete two seasons of undefeated non-conference play.
Syracuse (6-4-3, 3-4-1 Big East) has seven true freshmen. One of which, 20-year-old midfielder Raoul Meister, has started all 13 games. The rest of the class has been used sparingly. Kevin Chan-Yu-Tin has played in seven games and midfielder David Neumann saw field in the season opener.
Foti specifically noted the work of Schoening, Neumann and defender Colin Haggerty in the freshman class. Foti credited Neumann for being a high-energy player who absorbs the game quickly and should figure into the picture soon.
Foti said Haggerty needs to get stronger, but is a cerebral player. Schoening is an athletic player who has become comfortable in the training sessions, Foti said.
Without getting any playing time, the freshmen have taken full advantage of the training sessions against some of the team’s more accomplished players.
‘Everything is just helping development, and we help them improve by just playing our best in practice,’ Schoening said. ‘They help us by improving, by showing us their best and how we need top lay to get at their level.’
Not that the younger players are left to figure everything out alone. Foti groups a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior together, so in case there are any questions, there is always someone to talk to.
Schoening said his senior player is sixth-year senior Isaac Collings. Collings has helped him remain focused during practices and serves as an experienced player to turn to when questions arise.
Overall, the freshmen feel they have developed chemistry together.
‘I mean (we’re) getting to know each other and the players that you’ll play probably play next year,’ Chan-Yu-Tin said. ‘I think it’s nice. We get along very well, and we take some of our free time to actually hang out and get to know each other not only on the field, but off of the field. Get that chemistry going.’
With the season coming to a close soon, the decision to redshirt for some of the freshmen will be made in the near future. Schoening, for one, expects to redshirt.
Whether the freshmen redshirt or not, this year could provide the groundwork for any success that looms in the future. With five seniors departing at the season’s end, the opportunity for the freshmen is on the horizon.
Nick Olivetti may have provided the blueprint for some of SU’s younger players. Olivetti was not in the mix last season, his freshman year. Now, after a season of polishing his play and getting stronger, Olivetti has played in all 13 games and started 12. He went from no playing time to being an integral part of the offense.
Doing such is hardly the exception to the rule, Foti said, and should be the case for some of the freshmen, which could bring new-found excitement come spring.
‘Definitely, I’m looking forward to getting on the field as much as anyone else,’ Schoening said. ‘You work hard and just want to get on the field and show how you’ve been improving, and that’s what any of us want to do.’
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