Nanticoke’s ability to back defenders down and play around the crease is a credit to his size. Both Porter and Bomberry, who grew up playing with Nanticoke in Six Nations, said it’s something that often deceives opponents.Nanticoke is listed at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, which would make him the second-heaviest player on SU behind redshirt-freshman midfielder Jack Fiorini, who has four inches on Nanticoke. With All-American senior attack Fields still in the fold for Albany, it’s likely Nanticoke won’t see SU’s top lock-off defender in Nick Mellen. Instead, Nanticoke will likely be challenged by physical, 225-pound Tyson Bomberry, who has also played with Nanticoke during the offseason for the Six Nations Arrows.“He’s very physical,” said attack Brendan Bomberry. “He’s done a lot of work in the gym…I think he looks a lot bigger than people think and a lot stronger than people think, and also a lot faster than people think, so I think he’s going to catch a lot of people by surprise.”Slow startWhile Syracuse lost much of its fall season due to the mumps outbreak before playing a scrimmage, the Orange found ways to make up for lost time. Syracuse practiced briefly before Thanksgiving break and onward. Preseason camp picked up in early January for SU, which has a full-size indoor-turf facility, while Albany depends on good weather to practice outside, Great Danes head coach Scott Marr said.“They should be ahead of us at this point as far as conditioning and their level of play I would think,” Marr said. “They’ve had a couple more scrimmages already and a game under their belts before they play us.”Binghamton was SU’s fifth opponent, including scrimmages, in the last month. Albany has played two opponents, Colgate and Princeton, both in scrimmages. Prior to his team’s scrimmage against Princeton, Marr said his team is still “a ways away from where we want to be,” citing pace of play and the transition game as points of emphasis following his team’s first scrimmage.“There’s nothing better than starting out with a team like (SU) because it really gives you a sense of who you are, where you are and what you have to do to improve to play at that level at the end of the season,” Marr said.Saving faceIn the last three regular season matchups between Syracuse and Albany, the Orange has owned the faceoff-X. With all-time faceoff leader Ben Williams taking most of the draws, SU beat Albany on 63 of 81 total faceoffs. That’s a 77.7 percent success rate, more than 10 percentage points higher than Williams was on his career.Anna Henderson| Digital designer editorAgainst Binghamton, SU displayed what dominant faceoff play can do: limit opponent possessions and control the pace of play. Against Albany, Varello faces a more daunting opponent in TD Ierlan, a sophomore faceoff specialist who won more than 70 percent of his faceoffs last season, ranking second in Division I. Ierlan, a product of Victor (New York) High School, where he played alongside SU attack Jamie Trimboli, won 323 faceoffs in his freshman season at Albany, the most ever by a Great Dane in a single season.Syracuse lost or tied its opponent in faceoffs in all three of its losses last season. No matter what the result is Saturday, it’ll likely be determined, at least partially, by success at the faceoff X. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 14, 2018 at 10:22 pm Contact Josh: email@example.com | @Schafer_44 No. 7 Syracuse (1-0) opened its season with a 21-4 trouncing of Binghamton. SU had goals from 12 players, including five from senior attack Brendan Bomberry and three from sophomore attack Stephen Rehfuss.In the cage, goalkeeper Dom Madonna saved four shots while allowing four goals. SU dominated the faceoff X, going 24-for-29 as a team, with new starting faceoff specialist Danny Varello winning 15 of the 17 draws he took.On Saturday, No. 4 Albany, one of the few teams in the nation not to play yet, faces off with Syracuse at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. The Great Danes have only beaten SU once in 16 attempts. In that 2013 Albany win, the trio of Thompson relatives combined for 10 of their team’s 16 goals. On Saturday, SU will be tasked with shutting down Tehoka Nanticoke, a Six Nations, Ontario, native who is anticipated to bring a similar electric play style to the Albany attack, which already features All-American Connor Fields.Tehoka timeThe wait is almost over. Nanticoke has been hyped up since his time at IMG Academy (Florida), where he was tabbed Inside Lacrosse Magazine’s No. 1 recruit and an Under Armour High School All-American following his senior season.While in high school, Nanticoke played for the Iroquois Nationals at the 2016 U19 World Championships in Vancouver. There, he earned All-World Team and MVP honors while burying 22 goals to accompany nine assists and a bronze medal finish for his team.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn that same calendar year, Nanticoke played with SU sophomore goalie Drake Porter at IMG. Nanticoke impressed Porter immediately. On the pairs’ second day of practice together, Nanticoke wound up from the crease, and Porter prepared for what he anticipated would be more than a 90-mph close-range rocket. As the goalie stepped toward the ball, Nanticoke released the ball earlier and slower than Porter planned for, and the ball softly floated over Porter’s head. The goalkeeper compared the shot to a knuckleball.“He’d go through the legs when you thought he had no angle, and he’d somehow put it in on you,” Porter said. “He’d throw nine fakes and then do a changeup shot on the crease somehow. He was creative, and he wasn’t afraid to try anything.”Throughout his career at IMG and during the preseason leading up to his freshman year with Albany, Nanticoke has been known for his highlight-reel goals. In a fall-ball scrimmage against Johns Hopkins, Nanticoke backed his defender down to the ground. With the Hopkins defender on the turf, the freshman dashed toward the crease and flung a shot with his left hand from between his legs.