#7 Men’s Soccer Suffers First Loss of Season to #17 Louisville
By James Groh
Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season to Louisville on Friday night, at a score of 3-2.
In typical SU fashion, the game was close throughout the entire match; however, a goal moments before the end of the first half proved the deciding factor between these two teams.
“The dagger was the [goal] they scored 30 seconds before halftime,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. “But then the onus is on us. They didn’t have as many shots second half, but we didn’t create chances.”
Syracuse got off to a hot start, but couldn’t keep it going. Defender John-Austin Ricks scored a header off a corner kick taken by midfielder Hugo Delhommelle in the 11th minute. It is Ricks’ third goal and Delhommelle’s fourth assist of the season.
Then nine minutes later, Louisville had a free kick just outside of the 18-yard box. The ball was well struck and would have made it into the upper left hand corner of the net were it not for an outstretched Hendrick Hilpert who made a miraculous diving effort to parry the ball away.
Emotions began to flare and tension rose as Kamal Miller went in for a hard slide tackle that resulted in the first yellow card of the game. In total, there were five yellow cards and 33 fouls committed.
Louisville’s equalizer came in the 30th minute. The Cardinals whipped in a ball from the right corner. It landed at Cody Cochran’s feet. He had trouble connecting with the ball initially, but on his second effort he found the back of the net on a half volley.
The Cardinals began to apply the pressure to Syracuse. In the first half Louisville outshot the Orange 11 to 3. The breakthrough for Lousiville came just seconds before halftime. Forward Mohamed Thiaw received a ball 10 yards away from the 18-yard box. He took a few touches and then curled the ball in with his right foot. It proved to be the difference between the two teams for the rest of the game.
Hilpert said that his team needed to be more cautious that late into the half.
“First of all we as a team cannot get a goal against us one minute before halftime,” he said. “We have to play it smarter…If you just see one minute on the clock it’s either attacking or not letting them into your own half.”
The second half was a different story for the Orange. It only allowed the Cardinals one shot for the entire second period. Midfielder Mo Adams was pleased with how his team responded in the second half.
“It was a good reaction from the first half, but it was unlucky not to put our chances in.”
Syracuse only had two shots the second half.
The lack of shots didn’t mean that the second half wasn’t exciting, though. Each team grew increasingly physical with each other. There were three yellow cards and nine fouls committed in the last 25 minutes.
After the game was a tale of two polar opposites. Louisville fans and players shouted and chanted in the wake of their upset victory, while Syracuse players hung their heads in frustration.
“I was really excited when I went into this game because I know it’s a game I can make a difference…but I didn’t make the difference,” said Hilpert. He had five saves on the day.
Adams, who was pacing back and forth in the corner after the final whistle, said that the loss was heart-breaking but his team is looking forward to its matchup against Cornell on Tuesday at the SU Soccer Stadium.
The #7 Orange now have a blemish on its undefeated season as its drops to 4-1-2. The #17 Cardinals improve to 4-1-1.