Finally out of teammates’ shadows, SU’s Daniello beginning to gain recognition

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Chris Daniello didn’t score the game-winning goal for Syracuse in last year’s national championship game. That was Cody Jamieson.He didn’t lead the team in goals last season. Stephen Keogh did.The senior attack wasn’t one of the eight SU players named to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American team. He was consequently left out when the Big East handed out its preseason awards.But right now, three games into the season, Daniello is finally gaining some much deserved recognition. The Orange attack was voted a team captain by his teammates in the preseason and has emerged as one of SU’s biggest offensive threats, leading the team in both goals (7) and points (11) this season. He’s no longer stuck behind the likes of former Syracuse stars Kenny Nims and Mike Leveille. And the Cross River, N.Y., native appears ready to go.‘I think its just opportunity,’ junior co-captain Joel White said. ‘We had a Kenny Nims last year and the year before. I think it’s just his turn to step up. He’s been ready to do it, but now he’s got the chance and he’s doing it very well.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd now, three games into the season, the rest of the country is starting to take notice. After his four-goal outburst in Syracuse’s 12-7 win over Army Feb. 28, Daniello was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week. He followed that with a five-point performance in SU’s loss to Virginia Sunday.But none of that comes as a surprise to his teammates. They saw his improvement from year to year. They saw the work he put in during the preseason. They have seen him develop into the Orange’s go-to scorer.‘Looking at the past three games we’ve had, when we need a big-time goal, Chris dodges from the X, and he seems to get it done day-in and day-out,’ Keogh said.Daniello’s play so far this year fits right into his role as a team leader. But it has taken time for the senior to step into that position. He came in as a freshman behind Leveille, who won the Tewaaraton Trophy as the national player of the year in 2008, and Nims, a three-year starter who Keogh described as the quarterback of both national champion teams.Naturally, it was difficult for Daniello to get on the field with all the returning talent in front of him. He played in only three games as a freshman and registered just six points as a sophomore.Last year, though, he did show some flashes of his ability, finishing fourth on the team with 21 goals. He scored against Maryland, Duke and Cornell in Syracuse’s run through the NCAA tournament. Still, that didn’t garner enough attention for any preseason accolades heading into his senior year.But for Daniello, the lack of recognition doesn’t bother him.‘I wasn’t a big-time recruit coming out of high school like Jammer (Jamieson) and Keogh,’ he said. ‘I just kept working hard. That was kind of my goal, just to work hard and eventually be a leader.’Now in his final year with the Orange, he has taken hold of that leadership role. He has talked to Leveille and Nims and some of his other former Orange teammates. They give him advice on how to deal with certain situations and how to be the team’s captain.He is not the in-your-face type of leader that constantly screams and yells. Instead, he leads by example and his level of play on the field. Daniello said he has worked on being more vocal but his teammates don’t seem to think that is an issue.‘He’ll just get out on the field and do what he needs to do,’ White said. ‘And everyone will see that and work just as hard.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Published on March 9, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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