Nikolas Steiner, Mickey Watson debut in Syracuse’s 11-0 win over SUNY Morrisville

first_img Published on October 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm Contact Mitchell: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ It was wet. It was uncompetitive. It was a match that, as of last week, was not even scheduled to happen. But for two players, it was the most important match of the season.Defenders Nikolas Steiner and Mickey Watson played their first minutes of their Syracuse (6-4-4, 1-3-2 Atlantic Coast) careers during Tuesday’s 11-0 drubbing of Division III opponent SUNY Morrisville (2-11-2, 1-6-1 NEAC). The game may have just been a tune up for the Orange, but it meant so much more for the two debutants.After 25 minutes of downpouring rain and two Syracuse goals, coach Ian McIntyre turned to his bench, something he planned on doing from the opening kickoff. For the first time in his two seasons at SU, Steiner heard McIntyre call his name. “It was really exciting,” Steiner said. “I’ve put a lot of work over the past few seasons so it was good to get out there and let the work pay off.”While McIntyre started rotational players Matt Orr, Severin Soerlie and Luther Archimede to get them additional playing time, it was the first-time substitutes, Steiner and Watson, who most appreciated Tuesday’s match.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith six minutes left in the first half, Steiner saw the right side open up and pushed the ball forward. Crossing the ball into the box, the redshirt sophomore found Soerlie, who scored to put the Orange up 5-0. In his first Syracuse match, Steiner found his way onto the scoresheet.“I just whipped in and hope somebody got to the end,” Steiner said. “Someone was right there.”Steiner lined up in the center when he first came on, acting as the last man back to prevent a Morrisville attack that would never come. But after the half, he moved to right back when he was joined by Watson, a grad transfer from Loyola Maryland. Subbing on in the 62nd minute, Watson joined a Syracuse 11 whose shirts were untucked, socks rolled down and jerseys soaked to the core. After sitting under the protection of the Syracuse bench’s roof, Watson was going to do something he had dreamed about for years.“I’ve always wanted to come to Syracuse since I was in eighth grade,” Watson said,. “And it was just an honor to put the shirt on today.”By the time Watson came on, Syracuse already led 7-0. For the remaining rain-soaked minutes, he, Steiner and the other nine Syracuse players passed the ball around until the final whistle, picking up four more unanswered scores. In the 69th and 83rd minutes, Watson won two headers over his Morrisville counterparts, but after a season tarnished by knee injuries, the grad transfer understood he was in there to “knock the ball around” and calm the game down.“Having an opportunity to play a guy like Mickey,” McIntyre said. “To ensure that he gets a Syracuse letter, him playing that last 30 minutes meant a lot to him personally and it meant a lot to the team to have him out there.”A game scheduled as a glorified scrimmage may soon be forgotten for much of the Syracuse side — and probably wants to be forgotten by SUNY Morrisville — but will go down as a match that Steiner and Watson will never forget.“After the game,” Watson said. “I kind of stood around the field for a little bit. There’s a moment that I want to cherish, and I think when I look back on my player career, those thirty minutes gonna have a special place in my heart.” Commentslast_img

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