Deandre Kerr is the future for Syracuse MSOC, just wait and see
The Syracuse men’s soccer team is getting better day by day, and the golden boy on the roster that has quantified that improvement is starting striker Deandre Kerr. In previous weeks, the collective defensive work of the team has improved, and the freshman acknowledged that after a 1-0 win versus St. Francis on Tuesday.
“Defensively, we’ve been getting pretty strong,” Kerr said. “We kept a shutout against UNC and now another one. Being able not to concede goals, that’s the most important thing.”
This trust placed on the defense has given the Canadian the freedom to push the narrative offensively, which was something he struggled with earlier in the season. Kerr had failed to notch a point for seven games stretching back from the fall season all the way to March, only firing two shots on goal throughout the period. The forward has now scored two goals in his last three games, launching nine shot attempts. Head Coach Ian McIntyre has been impressed with the youngster’s ability but admits that he has to bring himself down to earth sometimes.
“Deandre is good, and he will continue to be good. We’re asking him to play a little out of position as a striker right now, and I think if anyone talks about our team they’re worried about Deandre Kerr. With that, it’s a little bit unfair for us to put all of this big responsibility on a guy who’s been here for only six months.”
Even during the dry spell, Kerr had through a lack of chance creation, McIntyre has been satisfied with goal involvements from his #7. The bench boss prides his team in organization off the ball with a forceful press, and speed on the counter. This rendered Kerr’s statistical anomaly to start the spring campaign somewhat insignificant.
“He’s getting there, he will get there, and he’s been terrific. I think it’s fair to say and look that he’s only got one shot on target in his last five games at the start, but unfortunately, if the guys hadn’t brought him down twice, he would’ve scored, right? So, it’s like one of those. The two penalties he won for us, those are important moments.”
The next couple of contests are huge for the rookie’s development individually. Kerr has two more games until the season’s end to set a precedent for his sophomore year, and he can’t just create important moments, he has to cash in on them. While the Ontario native registered nine shots, only two were on target. Kerr’s on goal percentage has to be better as the squad improves over time, in being relied on as a scoring leader for the Orange. Striking a new leaf and closing out the season with consistent production would be crucial for the success of the program that will only get better in a matter of time.
“Patience is needed on behalf of the coaching staff to put a big responsibility on any freshman, but he’s [Kerr] up for the challenge, he accepts that,” McIntyre said. “We’re having some growing pains right now, and I do think they’re growing pains because we’re seeing that we’re moving in the right direction.”
Deandre Kerr and the ‘Cuse sit at 2-7-4 on the season and will look to carry some positive strides into an ACC battle at SU Soccer Stadium. Syracuse faces Boston College at 2 PM on Sunday. Follow my Twitter handle listed below for live coverage of the contest and more content on SU men’s soccer.
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