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Thursday, Feb 16, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Syracuse Defenseman Nick Mellen Out for Season

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Sophomore defenseman Nick Mellen will miss the entirety of the 2017 campaign after deciding to have season-ending surgery, according to Head Coach John Desko. Mellen remained sidelined for the entire fall, as well as the Orange’s preseason scrimmages while recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder. When addressing the media on Thursday, Desko would not disclose if the procedure was to be conducted on the same left shoulder, but stressed that the decision was made with the future in mind.

“He had an injury that we possible could have lived through, but I don’t think that it was worth taking the chance, so he’s gonna be done for the season.”

The West Genessee (N.Y) product forced 14 turnovers and scooped up 38 ground balls in his freshman campaign, both totals good for second and third on the team respectively.

Prior to this season, Mellen was named a member of the Preseason All-ACC Team. And as a fifth-year senior, Goalkeeper Evan Molloy explained, a young player of Mellen’s caliber will certainly be missed on the field.

“It’s a big loss. I’ve said it before, he’s a really talented player, probably one of the best cover guys in the country, so it’s really a nice thing to have when you can shut down the other team’s best player…”

Mellen’s absence will leave this Syracuse team with little experience on that back line. Scott Firman played significant minutes at the long-stick midfield position, but made just his first career start last Saturday. Firman will most likely be joined by redshirt-sophomore Marcus Cunningham and sophomore Tyson Bomberry, who both saw time in the season opener against Siena.

Still left with some pieces to work with on defense, however, Molloy feels confident about the unit going forward.

“I think the guys we have are capable, we look really good, they all are playing really hard, they all bring something unique to the table that meshes really well, so I think we’re gonna be fine, we’re gonna be a pretty good defense still, so I’m pretty confident.”

The Orange will next take the field on Saturday February 18, as an in-state battle with Albany is scheduled for 3 p.m.