Syracuse Falls to No. 22 Virginia Tech 3-1 in First Round of ACC Tournament
By Luke McGrath
CitrusTV Men’s Soccer Reporter
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Syracuse (7-6-4, 1-5-3 Atlantic Coast) faltered in the critical first round of the ACC tournament 3-1 against No. 22 Virginia Tech (10-5-3, 3-4-1).
Syracuse now leaves its fate up to the NCAA tournament committee in hopes of an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Orange were previously ranked No. 20 last week but following a loss to Clemson on the road and a draw versus Boston College, the Orange fell out of the top-25.
Despite the struggles to end the regular season, SU still ranked No. 13 in the RPI standings. All of this came before the loss to the Hokies Wednesday night, leaving the Orange unclear as to where they stand heading into the NCAA tournament.
Virginia Tech opened the scoring started in the 17th minute when David Sanz scored off a corner kick and a couple of deflections.
The Hokies scored their second goal in the 56th minute on a sloppy defensive play from the Orange. Sophomore defender Sondre Norheim tried to head a ball back to goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert but Kristo Stickler came flying in to intercept the pass and head it over Hilpert’s head to give the Hokies a 2-0 lead.
In the 84th minute freshman midfielder Ryan Raposo received a cross in the box from Jan Breitenmoser and he hit a rocket that deflected off the Hokies goalkeepers shins and into the back of the net. It was Raposo’s fourth of the season as he cut the lead to just one.
SU had suddenly made the atmosphere much more intense, but the Hokies didn’t let that last long. Four minutes later SU’s Tajon Buchana made a run into the box and was taken down causing an uproar from SU players and coached pleading for a penalty kick. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech took advantage of the counter attack as Vincent Jackson II played a ball to Nico Quashie who buried his shot past Hilpert for the 3-1 advantage
The Orange’s sixth loss of the season comes despite outshooting the Hokies 23-11 and edging out VT in corners 6-5. Hilpert only made one save on the night compared to Virginia Tech’s goalkeeper Mathijs Swaneveld who registered six.
It is now up to the NCAA tournament committee to determine if, when and where the Orange will play again this season. The selection show is set for Monday, November 12 with first round action scheduled for November 15.
@L_McGrath14 | Lumcgrat@syr.edu