Former Syracuse player Paolo Ciferri to return to Dome a coach

first_img Published on February 6, 2018 at 10:41 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco Syracuse escaped with a 9-8 victory over Binghamton in April 2017. The game followed a trend of close fourth-quarter comebacks from the Orange and was one of 11 one-goal games that year. This year, though, Binghamton returns to the Carrier Dome to open the season with an extra edge.Instead of playing under Syracuse head coach John Desko, former defensive midfielder Paolo Ciferri is now an assistant coach at Binghamton. Ciferri said the Bearcats are “hungry” for revenge and that he knows the tendencies of his former teammates. That in turn helps Binghamton slow down a young SU offense that sports just three returning players on its starting line.“It’s a big emotional feeling here, always going to be great to go back to the Dome,” Ciferri said. “… But I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to take down the Orange now.”Since being hired by Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown, Ciferri has been assigned to three units. He assists with the defensive unit with McKeown, who also serves as the “defensive coordinator,” and heads both the faceoff and riding units. The riding unit counters the opposing team’s clears.To understand how to coach the faceoff unit, Ciferri “shadowed” SU assistant Kevin Donahue at times last year. He already knew the role of the wings during faceoffs because he manned that position for a few years at Syracuse, but faceoff specialists remained a relatively unknown area. So, Ciferri paid attention to what Donahue would point out to Syracuse’s faceoff specialists and brought over drills to develop certain faceoff techniques. Most of the drills Ciferri now runs at Binghamton were picked up from Donahue, Ciferri said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe even sat down with former Syracuse faceoff specialist Joe DeMarco and spoke with two-time Tewaaraton Nominee Ben Williams about different tactics. From DeMarco, Ciferri learned the techniques Williams used to become one of the best faceoff specialists in the country. Talking to Williams was an added bonus.“Conversations and conversations and film and film,” Ciferri said. “That’s where I learned what I know, and hopefully I’ll be able to apply that to give us a little advantage on Saturday.” Kevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorThe biggest advantage for Ciferri comes from being a captain and fifth-year player under Desko. He’s familiar with the system and run-and-gun style Syracuse runs, and he defended current SU players like Jamie Trimboli and Matt Lane, among others, in practice.He was also the veteran who offered advice to many of Syracuse’s now-starting defenders. Ciferri still keeps in contact with most of the team, even joking around with them over text.“He must’ve seen the tape (on me),” said redshirt sophomore and defensive midfielder Nick Martin, “because he texted me saying, ‘Hey, you gotta pull that one in transition.’ Because I didn’t shoot when I had a decent look … It’s gonna be fun seeing him.”The hardest task come Saturday, Ciferri said, will be learning about and watching the freshmen. Tucker Dordevic has started every scrimmage at midfield, and Brendan Curry is on the second midfield line. There’s little information available outside of word-of-mouth and players’ recruitment processes, Ciferri said, so seeing how players perform on the big stage leads to mid-game adjustments.For many players, playing against a former teammate who is now a coach is a first. And for Desko, it’s more about coming out and taking home a win in Syracuse’s first game of the season.“You want to show (Paolo) who the coaches are and who the players are,” Desko quipped.Desko also said it’s rare for players to join a college coaching staff a year after graduating. But Ciferri has always wanted to coach; that’s why he took a liking to shadowing Donahue and spoke with many former players to understand areas of the game he was relatively unfamiliar with.“I can’t see myself separating myself from the game,” Ciferri said. “If I can’t play as much as I used to, then I figure the next best thing is coaching.“I feel like I have a high-level lacrosse mind, and it’d be a shame to waste it.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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