Syracuse Again Concedes Late, Loses 3-2 in 2OT to Pitt
By Danny Tow, CitrusTV Men’s Soccer Beat Reporter
Syracuse has made a habit of allowing late goals this season, with Duke and Louisville among the teams who have beaten Syracuse right at the end of the game. Unfortunately for the Orange, they haven’t found a way to quit that trend, falling 3-2 to #16 Pitt in double overtime.
The Panthers controlled the game early, and earned a deserved first goal in the fifth minute, when Syracuse D Max Kent couldn’t clear a bouncing ball out of his own box, and Pitt’s Rodrigo Almeida jumped on the loose ball and scored. The Panthers continued to dominate for the next 20 minutes, until the Orange made a surprise substitution.
F Deandre Kerr was “day-to-day” with a leg injury, according to head coach Ian McIntyre, who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) provide an exact timeline for the return of his star striker. So when Kerr began the game on the bench, it was safe to assume he would miss his fourth consecutive match. But McIntyre brought Kerr on in the 26th minute, and the Canadian immediately sparked the Syracuse offense, opening up passing lanes and creating space where previously there hadn’t been any. The Orange quickly capitalized on that extra grass, as Hilli Goldhar dribbled around multiple Panthers defenders off a quick throw-in, before finding Noah Singelmann in the box, who headed home his first goal of the season.
Syracuse owned most of the rest of the game, giving Pitt fits with their high press and energy, but the Orange were unable to create quality chances until midway through the second half. They peppered the Pitt net for a 10-minute stretch, but GK Nico Campuzano did well to keep the Orange off the scoresheet again.
It was the Panthers who capitalized on the Orange’s ugly late-game habit, as a beautiful corner in the 85th minute from Pitt’s Bertin Jacquesson found Arturo Ordonez at the back post for an easy header.
It seemed Syracuse would once again find a way to lose in the witching hour, but Manel Busquets took matters into his own hands just three minutes later, dribbling down the right wing and into the box before earning a penalty by being tripped. Busquets stepped up to the spot, Campuzano guessed wrong, and suddenly Syracuse was tied once again, heading to extra time for the third time this season.
However, the Panthers dominated the extra minutes, with Syracuse doing just enough to hold them off through the first overtime and half of the second. Pitt should’ve ended the game midway through the second extra period, but a Panther hit the post on a wide-open tap-in at the net, and we played on.
Just 3 minutes later, though, Pitt would leave no doubt about who was taking the points from this one. Another corner from Jacquesson, this time to the front post, was met by the head of Guilherme Feitosa, who put it past GK Lucas Daunhauer and earned Pitt the victory.
Once again, Syracuse managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (or in this case, a draw) by conceding late. If this team wants to capitalize on its ambitions and play in the postseason, they’ll need to figure out a solution, and fast.
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