MSOC : Summers’ maturity to benefit SU following transfer from Hartwick

first_img Published on August 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Hartwick’s transition from dominance to doormat didn’t sit well with Dan Summers. After playing on two winning teams, the drastic decline wasn’t tolerable. He was ready for a new challenge.Summers looked no further than 110 miles northwest of the Hartwick campus to find that challenge. Up the road in Syracuse was Ian McIntyre, his former coach at Hartwick, and Nick Roydhouse, one of his closest friends.So Syracuse presented the perfect opportunity to play for a team he believed was headed in the right direction, regardless of what last season’s 2-10-5 record depicted.‘We didn’t really have a great finish at Hartwick last year, and I thought this would be a great chance to sort of finish out my four years,’ Summers said. He added, ‘It was a great opportunity for me, one that I really couldn’t turn down.’At the end of last semester, he made the move. Summers made the decision to officially transfer to play for the Orange (0-1, 0-0 Big East), one of 19 new players to join the program. But the senior brings the experience that most other members of that group of 19 don’t have. And in the team’s preseason scrimmages, he’s shown he brings a keen ability to score.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU hopes he notches his first career Syracuse goal Thursday when it hosts Canisius (0-2) at 7 p.m., especially after the team was shutout in its first game against Colgate.For Roydhouse, one of the biggest benefits of teaming up with Summers once again has been having another experienced scoring threat on the field to take some of the load off himself and junior Mark Brode. Roydhouse cited Summers’ high soccer IQ and strong frame to hold possession of the ball as perhaps the most important aspects Summers brings in addition to his experience.‘When I came from Hartwick, only a few guys came,’ Roydhouse said. ‘It would’ve been great to bring more with us. But it’s good to have him on board. We work well together, and we know how each other play. It’s creating opportunities for both of us.’Four players from Hartwick transferred to Syracuse to join McIntyre last season.But Roydhouse said he never tried to talk Summers into leaving Hartwick. He said he was too intent on winning at SU to recruit anybody else. McIntyre also said he didn’t speak with Summers at any point, jokingly saying Summers wouldn’t speak to him because he was ‘aggravated’ that he left.But with a young, freshmen-laden team, McIntyre was searching for a way to inject some maturity and guidance into an otherwise developing team. Summers led the Hawks with 46 shots last season, and he brings a certain aggressiveness to the field. He hss also played in a conference championship game against soccer powerhouse Akron during his career, an example of the big-game experience this Syracuse team lacks.‘We’ve got some quality young players, but it’s a big adjustment,’ McIntyre said. ‘We’re certainly not concerned about playing a lot of young guys. … But if they can have a couple of guys in there that can kind of help and act as kind role models and guide them through this, I think that is beneficial.’McIntyre took over at SU before the 2010 season. He had spent the last seven seasons coaching at Hartwick, and he brought along several players from his old program. Summers, though, wasn’t one of them. He stayed to try and guide the Hawks through their own transition to a new coach.But the Hawks went from 10-4-4 in 2009 to 2-14-1 in 2010.Summers had the opportunity to watch some of SU’s games when the Orange played in the Mayor’s Cup in Oneonta —on Hartwick’s campus —in early September of last season. While he was too focused on the Hawks’ own games to think ahead to his future, he did see a team that could be headed in the right direction with the infusion of some additional talent.And the opportunity to play in the Big East, a step up from the Mid-American Conference he had been playing in, provided the chance to compete at a higher level during his final collegiate season.Of the 19 new players on the Orange, Summers is the seasoned veteran. He’s also the one that’s undergoing the most drastic change.It could be the change, though, that reinvigorates Summers and SU.Said McIntyre: ‘This was a good opportunity for him, and sometimes change is good.’[email protected]last_img

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