Chris Nanco eyes late-career push with scoreless streak put to rest

first_imgChris Nanco sketched out a plan at the beginning of the season. Too often, the senior forward admitted, his long run had ended in years prior with near misses and gasps from the disappointed crowd.When attacking the goal, he adopted a new mentality. He’d keep an end result — the ball going through the net — at the forefront of his mind. He increased one-on-one work with Syracuse assistant coach Matt Verni to improve his finishing ability.The senior forward burst to a hot start this season, scoring four goals in the team’s first three games. But until his two-goal outing last week against Pittsburgh, he had been held off the scoreboard, getting no goals since Sept. 9 and no assists since Sept. 16. It had been 55 days since Nanco last found the back of the net, a span covering eight weeks, 11 games and Syracuse’s longest winless streak in five years. Nanco’s scoreless drought was the longest of his career at Syracuse — and his life.“Keep taking shots,” Nanco said last week. “One of them will go in.”One finally did go in, and then another, giving No. 7 Syracuse (11-3-4, 3-2-3 Atlantic Coast) a new facet to its scoring attack. Over the last four years, the Orange is 16-0 in games Nanco scores. As Syracuse awaits its NCAA tournament seeding, he looks to make an end-of-career push. His next game could be his last at SU.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDrifting toward midfield, Nanco is adept at beating defenders to open spots. His long runs up the sidelines set the offense in motion, sucking defenders his way. Asked about Syracuse’s main threat, most opponent coaches mention him before anyone else. Bobby Muuss, the head coach of No. 2 Wake Forest, singled him out, saying he’s “dangerous.”Tony D. Curtis | Staff PhotographerEven in games Nanco doesn’t score, defenders drop back or leave their men to stop him, as was the case against Pittsburgh. Jonathan Hagman benefited from a defense keyed-in on Nanco, as the sophomore followed up Nanco’s two goals with two of his own.“Chris’ contribution to the team without scoring goals has been massive,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. “I would worry if we weren’t getting that other contribution.”Nanco’s scoring efficiency had gone down since each season from his freshman to junior year. This season (11.8 percent), he’s improved on last year’s mark of just 5.8 percent. He had four goals last year but took 69 shots to do it. In his freshman year, he took only 21 shots to score four times, a success rate of 19 percent.His 44 shots placed him fourth in the conference entering last weekend. He had played almost every minute of every game until he left the ACC quarterfinal against Clemson in the first half after sustaining what appeared to be a minor injury to his left leg.While he shrugged off his scoring drought, he acknowledged Syracuse needs him to score to be at its best. He’s Syracuse’s leading active scorer, with 19 goals, and is second on the team only to senior midfielder Oyvind Alseth in games started, with 79.Nanco challenges himself in practice against Kamal Miller, one of Syracuse’s biggest defenders. Jockeying for position and weaving his way against bigger bodies has comprised much of the 5-foot-6, 145-pounder’s career.“Balls hitting the back of the net,” McIntyre said last Monday, “we’re going to take that and put it on Wednesday night. And then we’ll be good to go.”Nanco provided a fresh reminder of how many ways he can influence a game last Wednesday, scoring twice and luring defenders his way. His plan from the start of the year is working again. His career could end with one more loss. But when he scores, Syracuse doesn’t lose. Comments Published on November 7, 2016 at 9:26 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Stanbic IBTC Unveiled as Major Sponsor as Varsity League

first_imgChief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mr. Yinka Sanni, said: “We are enthusiastic about our sponsorship of the university league. The sponsorship is in line with our objective to engage the youth in talent-moulding and character-building initiatives and our determination to contribute to the development of sports and by extension the economy.”The organisers of the league commended Stanbic IBTC for its boldness in sponsoring the HIFL.According to them, the sponsorship will be invaluable to the success of the varsity league, even as they promised to stage the best football spectacle that will “convince our sponsors and indeed Nigerians that collegiate sport is ripe in Nigeria.”This sponsorship is the latest in a long list of youth-centric development and empowerment initiatives by Stanbic IBTC.Organised by Green White Green (GWG) Sports, the maiden edition of the league is featuring the top 16 universities from across the country.The teams will play a total of 30 games over a 14-week period to determine the winner. The draws for the league groupings were held recently.Explaining the rationale for HIFL at the draws ceremony in Lagos, CEO of the Green White Green, Alhaji Shuaibu Gara-Gombe, said the HIFL is conceived as a platform for students “to exhibit their talents to the world.”The participating universities are Obafemi Awolowo University, Delta State University, University of Benin, University of Lagos, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Agriculture Makurdi, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Bayero University, University of Ilorin, University of Jos, University of Uyo, University of Maiduguri, Usman Dan Fodio University, Ahmadu Bello University, and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Stanbic IBTC Group has announced its sponsorship of the Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL), which kicked off last Wednesday in various centres across the country.Stanbic IBTC said the sponsorship is in tandem with the company’s determination to help grow and develop a vibrant and productive youth population.According to Stanbic IBTC, their involvement is equally informed by the need to foster unity among the youth, the future leaders, and development of sports as well as the economy using the HIFL platform.last_img read more

Milan Star Donnarumma Looks Up To This Goalkeeper…Not Buffon

first_imgHighly rated AC Milan goalkeeper Gianlugi Donnarumma has revealed that he tries to imitate German counterparts Manuel Neuer despite admitting that ageless compatriot Gianlugi Buffoon was always his idol.Donnarumma made this known during an interview with former club goalkeeper Christian Abbiati for Milan TV. He said: My idol was always Gigi Buffon, then you were in the team that I supported [as a child].”He thereafter mentioned Bayern Munich shot stopper as someone he tries to learn from. “Now in the national team, I always have Gigi, who’s been helping me so much, but there’s also Neuer, who’s an example. I try to imitate him and learn from him.” he said.“China? I was also there two years ago, it’s been a nice experience. The fans are affectionate and we were greeted very well.“The new Milan? So many new players have arrived and those who were already here have been helping them feel at home.“Playing with my brother? It feels good, even if it’s strange: I’d never trained with him.” he concluded.Relatedlast_img read more