Syracuse Advances in NCAA Tournament past Dartmouth 3-0 in Snowy Contest
By Christian De Guzman
SYRACUSE, NY – A reporter asked Syracuse Head Coach Ian McIntyre after Sunday’s match what his post-game speech was to his players.
“They all left pretty quickly,” said Coach McIntyre jokingly. “They were cold and needed warm showers.”
The Syracuse Men’s Soccer team had good reason to find warmth on Sunday. Snow hit the SU Soccer Stadium hard during Syracuse’s match against Dartmouth in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Even though conditions were less than favorable and the weather was getting colder, the Orange prevailed and defeated the Big Green 3-0 to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Syracuse struck quickly in the 7th minute of the match. Sergio Camargo got free down the left-hand side of the pitch and fired a shot at the Dartmouth goal from outside the penalty box. Big Green goalkeeper James Hickok parried away Camargo’s effort, but the rebound fell easily to Chris Nanco. The Canadian forward placed the ball into the back of the net and SU took an early 1-0 lead.
Camargo found his goal in the 24th minute. With the Orange controlling the ball in the center of the pitch, Camargo and Johannes Pieles played some tiki-taka soccer. Camargo and Pieles played a 1-2 that created open space for the Coastal Carolina transfer on the edge of the box. Camargo slid and hit the ball pass a charging Hickok to extend the SU advantage 2-0. Coach McIntyre saw these goals as crucial to SU’s victory.
“It was important today to get the early goal and the second one,” said Coach McIntyre. “When the conditions really deteriorated, this was a game where it was better to be ahead then to try and chase it.”
Camargo added some insurance later in the match. In the 60th minute, Nanco received a ball from Kamal Miller that he controlled with a great first touch. He spotted Camargo who was making a run towards the middle of the pitch. Nanco’s pass found Camargo and he took a big touch that forced Hickok to charge out of his net. Camargo easily controlled the ball around the Big Green keeper and calmly passed the ball into the net to give Syracuse a 3-0 lead.
That would be the final score as the Orange battled tough conditions to advance in the NCAA Tournament. The snow started to form a noticeable white layer on the pitch during the second half, which hampered each player’s visibility and footwork.
“I have never been through something like that,” said Camargo. “It was tough, but you could tell that it didn’t faze any of us.”
The conditions failed to stop the high-powered SU offense that has peppered opposing nets throughout the season. Syracuse outshot Dartmouth 13-7 on Sunday, and the goal scorers for the Orange have helped throughout the season to put SU in the position it is in now.
“Big players step up in big games,” said Coach McIntyre. “It was important that Chris and Sergio got on the ball and that their movement was good.”
Syracuse now moves on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, where they host the winner of North Carolina and Florida Gulf Coast next Sunday at 2 pm in the SU Soccer Stadium. Most likely, that match will draw more than the 315 fans that attended SU’s match against Dartmouth. But Coach McIntyre has never doubted the support and the loyalty of the Orange fan base.
“I give our crowd tremendous credit,” said Coach McIntyre. “If you are a Syracuse soccer fan today, you’ve earned your stripes.”