Ben Polk contributes 2 assists in Syracuse debut

first_img Published on September 4, 2015 at 7:02 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+ Ben Polk pulled his warm-up shirt over his head and got up from the bench to be substituted into the game. Standing with a green pinny on the sideline, he nervously awaited his Syracuse debut.Polk jogged onto the field and less than two minutes into his Orange career, fed a pass to midfielder Liam Callahan for the first goal of the game.“That settled the nerves coming out,” Polk said. “ …I thought I was going to come out like a chicken with no head for the first five, 10 minutes.”The junior transfer from Herkimer Community College missed SU’s first two games of the season with a leg injury, but in his first game he tallied two assists in 46 minutes as SU (2-1) defeated UC Riverside (1-2), 4-1 at SU Soccer Stadium on Friday.“Ben’s been itching to get out there and it was nice to get him involved,” head coach Ian McIntyre said. “He had an instant impact.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA little more than a month ago, Polk sustained an ankle injury while scoring a one-time goal in the Premier Development League championship game. The pass came from Callahan. Minutes into his first game action since then, Polk setup near the edge of the box and returned the favor, assisting on Callahan’s first career goal.Polk stayed in for the remaining 17:29 minutes of the first half.  At halftime, he stood near the bench with sweat running down his neck and two cups of water in hand. Team managers and assistant coaches came over and patted him on the back or rubbed his head, which he accepted with a smile.When the second half began, Polk was back on the field. He settled a chipped through ball from midfielder Oyvind Alseth off his chest in the box, but a Highlanders defender knocked it away as he tried to shoot.Polk was getting chances inside the box in scrums, but couldn’t register a shot. The forward was having more success moving to the outside and feeding teammates making runs on goal.“It was pretty hot, but I tried to work hard,” Polk said of the 85-degree day. “… I’m definitely not as fit as I want to be.”Just over sixteen minutes into the half, forward Kenny Lassiter gave Polk a break. McIntyre grabbed him by the shoulder and smiled.Then with 10 minutes to go, Polk came back into the game for one last shift. He popped a pass over a defender’s foot inside the box but lost the ball trying to make a move to the outside.Walking back to the center of the field he looked into the sky and shook his head.“We know he’s got goals in him and they’re going to start coming,” Alseth said.The next time down, Polk stopped with the ball in right side the penalty area and waited before sliding a pass into the middle for forward Noah Rhynart and earning his second assist.Alseth slapped Polk on the back of the head and Korab Syla ran over to make a joke about Polk getting assists and not scoring any goals.Though Polk didn’t score, he was able to be effective passing the ball in his first game since Aug. 2.“When I’m in the game I need to effect the game,” Polk said. “ I don’t want to let it pass me by and just be another man on the field.“I want to be a game changer.” Commentslast_img

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