Forkin shows potential for Syracuse after transitioning from midfield to attack

first_img Published on February 11, 2015 at 12:16 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ J.T. Forkin received a pass 5 yards behind the goal, and 15 yards to the left of it. He cradled the stick with his left hand, ran a semi-circle around the goal, leapt and rifled the ball into the top-left corner while drawing contact.It was the redshirt freshman’s first career goal — albeit to put Syracuse up 12 against Siena in garbage time — but one that showcased what he has in his back pocket as a converted attack.Forkin transitioned to Syracuse’s attack from midfield in the offseason after a conversation with assistant coach Kevin Donahue before fall practice began. He’s already impressed at his new position, logging two goals and an assist in No. 4 SU’s (1-0) 21-7 win over Siena on Saturday, and he continues to blossom at the position while taking note of the tendencies of starting attacks Kevin Rice, Randy Staats and Dylan Donahue.“We have one of the top attack lines in the country,” Forkin said. “I’m just learning so much from all three of those guys and really trying to improve my game based on what they do.”At Long Beach (New York) High School, Forkin was named the Nassau County Attackman of the Year in his senior season after scoring 57 goals. When he came to SU, he found himself caught on the back end of a crowded midfield unit and was uncomfortable at the position, Rice said, so Forkin decided to redshirt. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe practiced primarily at midfielder in his first year, but started playing as an attack on the scout team toward the end of the season. In the offseason, Forkin knew he had to get quicker if he wanted to play on the attack for good. He emphasized improving his change of direction on the field, and also harped on strengthening his stick skills with his right hand since he’s a natural lefty.Forkin still plays on the scout team in his second year with the Orange, but has impressed the coaching staff beyond just the practice field.With four minutes left in Saturday’s game and the Orange up 19-7, Forkin received a pass 5 yards to the right of the goal with Saints defender Max Bonsall coming at him hard. Forkin deftly spun away from pressure, sent Bonsall flying and calmly slotted the ball in the bottom-left corner.“He’s not 6-foot-3, he’s probably 5-foot-9-ish, so it’s hard for defenders to get their hands on his hips and get him out,” SU head coach John Desko said. “He’s got a nose for the goal and he’s playing very well.”On Saturday, Forkin, sophomore Jeff Desko and redshirt freshman Matt Lane composed the second-line attack and got plenty of playing time in a game that was decided early.The other two combined for a single assist, as Forkin made his case to be the next man up down the road after Rice, Staats and Donahue.“Hopefully next time I get an opportunity I have another good showing,” Forkin said. “Down the line it might come my time.”Though the first three is set in stone, Desko said Forkin could very well be the next in line simply based on his ability to dodge. Rice added that if someone on the first line gets hurt, Forkin’s chance could very well present itself.And while Desko said Forkin would still need to learn all the different offenses to be that fourth option on the attack, the package that Forkin’s already displayed has him primed to do so.Said Rice: “He’s going to be a guy for the future to keep an eye on, for sure.” Commentslast_img

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