Syracuse Struck by COVID-19, Left to Think, “What Now?”

Thursday, Sep 24, 2020 at 2:14 pm by Sports Editor

By Noah Cierzan

CitrusTV’s Men’s Soccer Beat Reporter

A week ago, Syracuse was making its final preparations for an exhibition match against Virginia. But, as shown by 2020 time and time again, so much can change in a single week. Saturday’s matchup against the Cavaliers was canceled due to a member of SU’s program testing positive for COVID-19, and this week’s matchup against Army has been canceled for the same reason.

I’ve reached out to both Syracuse Athletics and the Atlantic Coastal Conference to comment on what has happened over the last week. Neither has made additional comments past what has already been released regarding the matter.

The team knew this was a possibility, but that does not mean they were expecting it to happen so quickly. According to a Syracuse University Athletics press release, all program members are now in quarantine per CDC and New York State guidelines.

In a season that was already cut short, Syracuse now has merely six games on its schedule. From a soccer perspective, this does not give Ian McIntyre’s new squad any time to develop chemistry on the field. The Orange now have the unique challenge of not only having a limited number of games to prove themselves but also having to start off hot after spending time quarantining and not fully knowing when they’ll step back onto the pitch.

This isn’t even the only hurdle that Syracuse will encounter. The NCAA announced that all championships for sports played in the fall will be moved to spring 2021. The Men’s College Cup will be held in May, where a field of 36 teams (instead of 48) will compete for the

The NCAA announced that all fall contests will count in the selection process. Still, for Syracuse, that sample will be limited to six games. With everything that has gone on over the last week, it begs the question: What is the right thing to do?

The ACC could push their season to the spring, which would give the individual universities more time to prepare. But not all schools have had the same problems Syracuse Men’s Soccer has. It’s then up to SU to decide if they can still get something out of this shortened season.

Syracuse is scheduled to kick off its season against Pittsburgh next Saturday, and as soon as I can, I’ll be talking to the team and going to games. Until then, Syracuse is acting as a microcosm for what our society is going through as a whole. Although we’ve come far, we still have a long way to go until things return to some form of ‘normal,’ and for Syracuse, this means getting healthy before returning to the pitch. | @ncierzan