Fatigued Men’s Soccer Gives Up First Half Lead, Draws 2-2 with No. 22 New Hampshire
By: Nick Kuzma- CitrusTV Men’s Soccer Beat Reporter
The Syracuse Men’s Soccer team (1-1-2, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) was on the verge of an upset Sunday night. The Orange had a 2-0 lead over No. 22 New Hampshire (2-0-2, 0-0 America East) heading into halftime and everything seemed to be going according to plan.
After three straight games of allowing their opponents to score first, the Orange were finally in the driver’s seat, poised for a victory. But despite having all of the momentum heading into the locker room, the Orange started to leak oil in the second half.
In the 71st minute, UNH’s Bilal Kamal found the back of the net to bring the Wildcats within one. Then, disaster struck again 15 minutes later for the Orange. UNH’s Donnett Sackie tied the game with a sloppy goal off a set piece deflection.
“[We] gave balls away in our half, invited pressure, invited long throws,” said Syracuse Head Coach Ian McIntyre.
The SU coach chalked the result up to naivety and fatigue but insists that he likes the group he has this year.
Sunday night was the Cuse’s second draw in a row. Syracuse and Yale finished their 1-1, 110-minute match less than 48 hours before SU and New Hampshire kicked off their 110-minute draw.
“We were physically beat up and didn’t have enough quality on the ball tonight,” Coach Mac said.
Despite the frustrating outcome for Syracuse, the defense all around played well. Of the Wildcats’ nine shots, only three were on target.
“I think we [played] a pretty decent game defensively,” said Defensemen Sondre Norheim. “It’s just individual mistakes that get us.”
The Norwegian-born junior certainly put his body through the wringer this week. Sunday night’s game was just his third match back after being injured for eight months.
Norheim said his recovery after Sunday’s game was going to have to start with an ice bath, which is likely for most SU players.
The recent stretch was brutal for the Orange who will now stay on campus this week as they prepare to host the defending ACC Champion Louisville Cardinals.
The Orange played the Cards well last year. The match went the distance, ending in a 2-2 2OT draw at Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium in Kentucky.
It was a chippy game in which saw 32 fouls committed, and six caution yellow cards issued.
Goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert played well posting three saves, but the once-four-year starter will not be there for the Orange.
If the rotation holds, Syracuse will likely start Christian Miesch in the net. He has posted a (0-1-1) record when in goal this year.
Louisville will be the first conference opponent for SU this year, who went (1-4-3) in ACC play a season ago.
The match will kick-off at 7 pm on Friday at SU Soccer Stadium.
firstname.lastname@example.org | @nkuz71