Injuries Stall SU in 2-1 Loss to Louisville

Monday, Oct 09, 2023 at 8:31 pm by Sports Editor

By: Hudson Ridley | @Hudson_Ridley

Syracuse women’s soccer fell to Louisville, 2-1, on Sunday. The Orange were neck and neck with the Cardinals for a majority of the contest, but key injuries pushed Louisville forward.

Early in the game both sides generated pretty relentless offensive pressure. Syracuse continued its strategy from last game, increasing possession and trying to catch the Cardinals off guard. About half way through the first half a switch flipped for Louisville. The Cards started to generate run after run, setting the Orange back line and goal keeper Shea Vanderbosch back on their heels. However, Louisville had substantial trouble finishing in the final third. Countless opportunities were missed, especially on near post chances. Just seconds before the half one of the biggest dominoes of the contest fell. Sophomore midfielder Ashley Rauch went up for a ball and collided with a Cardinal attacker. Rauch went to the ground clutching her knee, and it took a while before she could get up and walk to the sideline with the help of the trainer.

Syracuse and Louisville went into the halftime locker room knotted at zero. When both sides came back out in the second half, there was a noticeable change. The injury to Rauch left SU’s back line without the consistent defensive help she provided all season, and as a result SU was overrun. When the Cardinals finally cracked through, it didn’t take long for them to start pouring it on. In the 55th minute a bouncing ball trickled to the edge of SU’s 18-yard box. Freshman Betsy Huckaby struck it beautifully into the top corner on a shot that no goal keeper could save. Just two minutes later another similar situation, and the exact same result. Emersen Jennins doubled the Cardinals lead after finishing off a corner. Louisville would spark another attack in the minutes that followed, but a few Vanderbosch saves and some help from the woodwork kept the Orange in the game. 

Syracuse would claw back a little late in the game. Raia James was brought on in attack for the second straight game and seemed to provide a spark yet again. SU’s one in the score column came from sophomore Anna Rupert, who caught the Cardinals sleeping with a counter attack and powered the ball past the keeper. However, the Orange’s late spark was not to be. Injuries to Ashley Rauch and nagging injuries to Erin Flurey limited both players who are usually critical to the ‘Cuse’s success.

All in all Syracuse drops to 2-10-2 following the loss. The Cardinals have also struggled this season now improving to 3-7-4. SU had never beaten Louisville and Sunday marked what would likely be its best chance so far. The Orange now regroup for more ACC action, but this time on home soil. SU takes on Pitt on Saturday October 14th at 1:00 p.m. at SU Soccer Stadium.