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16Sep/20

Syracuse eliminated in ACC tournament quarterfinal against No. 4 Virginia

first_imgWhen Syracuse last played a top-10 team — No. 8 Clemson on Oct. 19 — the Orange played a high line, pressed and set up to attack one of the nation’s best teams. Ninety minutes later, SU had been battered for seven goals at home. SU Head coach Ian McIntyre and multiple players called that loss “embarrassing.” He said he didn’t set the team up right.Sunday against No. 4 Virginia, the Orange needed to be more measured. More cautious. Then, Virginia scored two goals in the opening 18 minutes in Sunday’s ACC tournament quarterfinal. McIntyre had no other options. He subbed in forward Luther Archimede for midfielder Noah Singelmann. The Orange had to chase goals, even with the risk of getting embarrassed again.And while Syracuse outplayed the Cavaliers for much of the second half, it wasn’t enough. The Orange couldn’t overcome a slow start against a UVA defense that had conceded just five goals in 16 matches entering Sunday. Virginia (15-1-1, 6-1-1 Atlantic Coast) beat Syracuse (7-6-5, 2-4-2), 2-1, in the ACC tournament quarterfinal Sunday in Charlottesville, Virginia. SU will now await its NCAA tournament fate, which will be announced on Nov. 18.“Our guys left it all out there today,” McIntyre said. “Certainly not the start you want to go out and concede a couple of soft goals, but we grew into the second half and kept pushing forward until the final whistle. We just ran out of time today.”The Orange played 120 minutes on the road against North Carolina on Tuesday, traveled back to Syracuse, then back down south again to take on Virginia, who had nine days off to rest since the end of the ACC regular season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMassimo Ferrin started up top, appearing much healthier than he did in the Orange’s first-round match on Tuesday. His health, plus the return of Nyal Higgins to Syracuse’s backline, enabled McIntyre to return to his preferred 3-5-2 formation. In the opening 20 minutes, SU’s three center backs struggled to cope with UVA forward Daryl Dike. Dike ran at Sondre Norheim at the top of the penalty area, and as Norheim went in to tackle the ball, he brought him down and the referee pointed to the spot, awarding the Cavaliers a penalty.Syracuse goalie Christian Miesch, whose penalty save in the opening round helped them advance, guessed correctly again. He drove to his right and outstretched his hand, but Joe Bell’s penalty had just enough height to find the back of the net. When Dike took on fellow center back Dylan McDonald and beat him to the end line eight minutes later, Dike’s cross across the penalty area opened up the Syracuse defense. With Miesch now out of position at his near post, Nathaniel Crofts tapped the ball into the empty net. “He’s a dominant player,” McIntyre said of Dike. “He allows other players to play off him and made it difficult for us.”Immediately after the second goal, Archimede came on for Singelmann. One fewer midfielder and one more attacker meant that Syracuse would be more open through the middle, leaving them potentially exposed for counterattacks and adding more pressure to its back three which had already been stretched. “We went to chase the game at that time,” McIntyre said. “You’re 2-0 down and that next goal is going to be important for the game. They were dangerous on the counterattack because we were throwing numbers forward.”Syracuse registered a few half chances in the opening half, including a pair of John Austin-Ricks shots — one easily saved and another off target from inside the box. Virginia regained control of the match to start the second frame, and Miesch made a few critical saves and punch outs on set pieces to keep the Orange within striking distance.The Orange earned a corner in the 69th minute. The ball was delivered to the near post and UVA goalie Colin Shutler came out to play it. Before he could, a Virginia defender flicked it on to the far post, where Archimede was left unmarked. He didn’t miss. His outstretched right foot set up a frenetic final 20 minutes where the Orange probed and attacked, but never found the tying goal. “It would’ve been easy for us to roll over and accept defeat today, but we kept pushing until the final whistle,” McIntyre said. “I’m proud of effort today.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 10, 2019 at 4:27 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edulast_img read more