Syracuse Strikes First, Cannot Hold onto Lead in 1-1 Draw
By Noah Cierzan
CitrusTV’s Men’s Soccer Beat Reporter
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Despite finishing the first three games of the season with only one point, Syracuse has shown signs of greatness just to falter late in its games. Going into Saturday night’s match, this is something the Orange looked to fix.
Sondre Norheim finished off a nice cross from Noah Singleman giving Ian McIntyre and Co. the first goal of the game for the third time in four games. Unfortunately for Syracuse (0-2-2, 0-2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), its inability to play with a lead allowed Virginia Tech (0-1-2, 0-1-2 ACC) to climb back into the game for a 1-1 draw.
This all goes back to SU’s last game against Louisville at home. After Freshman Deandre Kerr propelled Syracuse to a two-goal lead, the Orange let off the gas. This allowed a 10-man Cardinals lineup to strike twice, leading to the draw.
While the trip down to Blackburg wasn’t exactly the same, many of the same principles applied. The Orange jumped out to an early lead, and for most of the first half they looked like the better team. During that period, Ian McIntyre saw his team playing the style he had been looking for. An aggressive, attack oriented mind set while keeping the shape of the formation.
It was then late in the first half that Virginia Tech found the back of the net after a complete defensive breakdown, giving Nick Blacklock a good angle on Russell Shealy. This has been the Bane of SU; failing to play while in the lead.
The second half saw the Orange play a man down after Amferney Sinclair was sent off in the 67th minute for the second time this season. To SU’s credit, they fended off many Hokie attacks during the next 20 minutes and extra time.
Virginia Tech finished with 24 shots compared with the Orange’s 7, and the Hokies also had seven corners on the day. Unlike their home performances, the problem was creating offense, especially when they were playing down a man.
The trio of Luther Archimede, Deandre Kerr and Manel Busquets were unable to press the backline as much as they did against Louisville. On top of that, outside of a couple feeds on net, the Orange did not play through their maestro Hilli Goldhar in the middle.
Syracuse showed some signs on Saturday, but as it has been in all games this season it had some part of its game fall apart. For Ian McIntyre, this means a talented squad that only has two points to show for its four games. The Orange will need a result in their next match if they want to compete for a spot in the ACC tournament, and that chance will come next Friday against Virginia.
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