Notebook: Nick Mellen, returning seniors and men’s lacrosse transfer news

first_imgNelson, a redshirt senior attack, played in only five games during his Syracuse career. Both he and Strang would be graduate transfers and could go to programs offering more playing time for their final collegiate lacrosse seasons.Both midfielders, Justin and Andrew Kim appeared in 11 combined games from 2019 to 2020, registering two total points. The Orange have an abundance of midfield options with potentially all of SU’s first (Brendan Curry, Tucker Dordevic and Trimboli) and second (Lucas Quinn, Jacob Buttermore, David Lipka) midfield lines set to return next season. Depending on where he plays, they could even be joined by No. 3 recruit Owen Hiltz.Unlike other Orange in the portal, Fernandez has played significant minutes for SU in recent seasons, appearing in 22 games during his career, including all five in 2020. If Fernandez transfers and redshirt senior Andrew Helmer, who split time with Fernandez at long stick, graduates, SU will have a hole at pole. While Kennedy flourished at close defense this season, the redshirt junior could step back into the LSM role he was recruited for.With Ivy League schools announcing they will not grant an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes, the transfer portal will contain more top tier talent than in past years, including Tewaaraton Award favorite Michael Sowers of Princeton. Sowers played under now-SU offensive coordinator Pat March for three seasons, but said he hadn’t given thought to transfer locations as of last week.“I never thought about a plan B because I never thought I would need one,” Sowers told The Daily Orange via text. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Nick Mellen wavered, trying to get up off the Carrier Dome turf while clutching his left knee. He didn’t know he would never play in a Syracuse men’s lacrosse game again. Orange trainer Troy Gerlt gave Mellen his hand, helping him off the turf before the redshirt senior limped to the sideline against Colgate in the season opener — where he would watch the remainder of Syracuse’s five 2020 games before the season was canceled amid the spread of the coronavirus.More than 40 days since the Orange’s final 2020 game, Mellen talked to the media about his decision to move on from Syracuse and the lacrosse program.Here is a roundup of Mellen’s farewell press conference, news on returning seniors and others transferring out.Mellen Moves OnAdvertisementThis is placeholder textMellen announced his decision to forgo a sixth year of eligibility and leave Syracuse in an Instagram post Monday. In a Zoom press conference Thursday, he said the effects of COVID-19 made the already hard choice even more frustrating. Ultimately, future job prospects, the potential to play lacrosse professionally and where Mellen was at “mentally and emotionally” led him to end his SU career.“Five years is a long time doing anything,” Mellen said.The injury that ended Mellen’s 2020 season came after he missed his entire sophomore season due to injuries to both shoulders, but the captain said he was “right there and ready to go.” Assuming professional lacrosse leagues’ 2020 seasons go ahead as scheduled, Mellen “plans to play” and has been touted as a potential top draft pick for the Premier Lacrosse League.Brett Kennedy, Nick DiPietro and Grant Murphy all stepped up on close defense in Mellen’s absence, holding opponents to 8.25 goals-per-game in the next four games. But prior to the season’s cancellation, it appeared the undefeated Orange would get Mellen back for the March 14 Rutgers game.“It seems like we’re doing everything right,” Mellen said. “You know, we were rolling, undefeated, No. 1 in the country …  and just like that, our season ended.”Seniors ReturnWhen asked about the program’s potential in the future, Mellen said he was optimistic for next season because “the roster of guys we have coming back is ridiculous.” The graduating redshirt senior hinted that Drake Porter would, unlike Mellen, take advantage of the NCAA’s granted extra year of eligibility and return to SU. Hours later, Porter officially announced the news.Porter will become the first three-year starter in the net for the Orange since John Galloway (2008-2011), who holds SU records for most minutes played, most wins and best goals-against average in program history — numbers Porter could surpass.The Aurora, Ontario native joins Danny Varello as the only members of the 2020 Syracuse seniors to officially declare their return and use of extra eligibility. Pending graduate Jamie Trimboli said he will return for a fifth season “if aid can be worked out,” according to a Rochester Democrat & Chronicle report2020 starters Peter Dearth and attack Stephen Rehfuss have yet to announce their plans, but Chris Jastrzembski of ESPN reported that he expects more announcements in the coming days.Transfer NewsWhile Porter will stay manning SU’s cage for a third season, redshirt junior goaltender Luke Strang has entered the transfer portal, according to reports. Strang, who backed up Porter for the past two seasons, is joined in the portal by SU’s Jake Nelson, Jared Fernandez, and Andrew and Justin Kim — all of whom may still return to the Orange in 2021.center_img Published on April 16, 2020 at 11:00 pm Contact Mitchell: mbannon@syr.edulast_img

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