Syracuse dominated No. 20 Louisville’s attack, even when it went down a player in 0-0 draw

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 13, 2019 at 11:27 pm Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelman Regulation had ended, Louisville could barely get a shot off and Syracuse was inches away from the game’s first score. Players walked toward head coach Ian McIntyre before the start of overtime. But Luther Archimede didn’t follow. He couldn’t.Seconds after play stopped, the freshman striker was issued a red card after a collision with a Louisville player. Archimede walked off the field toward the locker room, away from his team’s huddle. Syracuse would have to play a man-down, meaning it couldn’t be as dominant.“It changes everything,” McIntyre said.All night, Louisville wanted to prove why it was the ranked team in Friday’s matchup, the defending Atlantic Coast Conference championships. The final 20 minutes gave it the edge they needed. Instead, it’d turn around without a score again and again.Through balls weren’t attainable. Fastbreaks usually meant loss of possession. The Cardinals were limited to just six shots, their season low. Syracuse’s attack (1-1-3, 0-0-1 Atlantic Coast) had every opportunity to pummel No. 20 Louisville (2-1-2, 0-0-1) in the first 90 minutes because its backline left Louisville’s attack in ruins. And even when they was down a player, the Orange still held onto a 0-0 draw.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text “A man down against this wind, the guys showed that they have character in spades,” McIntyre said.What makes Syracuse’s preservation of its tie a testament to how dominant its defense was on Friday is that the Orange have played 330 minutes of soccer in the last seven days. Last Friday was a double overtime draw. Two days later, SU tied New Hampshire after 110 minutes. If Syracuse wanted a point in its ACC opener, it’d have to go the same length.Center back Nyal Higgins said his legs were “dead” postgame. Massimo Ferrin knew “only having 10 men wouldn’t help.” And when the buzzer sounded after two hours and 40 minutes of player, Ryan Raposo felt the three-straight lengthy games hit him at once, he said.“I could probably go another 20 now, though,” Raposo quipped.Syracuse’s defensive energy leveled in the final minutes of double overtime, but it didn’t waver early on. Louisville players started with possession and were doubled immediately. Back passes were pressured with a defender, sometimes two. On one play, Archimede followed the ball as it went through four U of L defenders. Eventually, he clipped it on an attempted clear and ran down field the other way.“We worked extremely hard to get pressure,” McIntyre said.But SU’s pitfalls came on fouls. 46 fouls from both sides slowed down the game and created close set pieces. McIntyre called the “stop, start” play a problem. Yellow cards were handed out frequently, too, including one to Archimede early in the first half.Wind whistled toward the left side of the field, creating havoc on goal kicks and crosser. On three separate occasions, Cardinals goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch booted a ball into the stands instead of creating fastbreak opportunities for his team. On one, it reached the fourth row of SU Soccer Stadium’s grandstand.Untimely errors like Gelnovatch’s fight with the wind came in handy, but the Cardinals couldn’t get anything going in the final third. Sondre Norheim and Higgins kept attackers in front of them and cut off feeds before anything developed.“I expected it that way,” Higgins said.For most of the game, SU goalie Christian Miesch stood motionless — looking over the heads of orange jerseys, looking above the net when clears floated over him and sometimes looking directly at the ball, because careeming it was that easy. On a Cardinals corner toward the wind, a ball could’ve looped into the net but Miesch grabbed it as he bumped into the post. But other than that, Mirsch didn’t see too many balls worth extending for.With five minutes left in regulation, Higgins sniffed out a loose ball and tapped the ball to Miesch. The Stony Brook transfer slid under it to a gasp of fans at SU Soccer Stadium, but it floated out of play.SU’s offense had chance-after-chance in the box and Louisville didn’t. That should’ve changed after 90 minutes, after Archimede slowly walked off the field with his head down. Louisville finally started to dominate possession. Show it was the offense who ripped then-No. 9 Kentucky for three goals 10 days ago. But SU’s defense stayed put.“It was a whole team effort keeping them off the scoreboard,” Raposo said.Orange jerseys still ran around. Still cut off crosses. Still tried to make sure Miesch didn’t see the ball. And though Higgins said Syracuse played to win in the final 20 minutes, it left Friday’s matchup with a desired point in the standings.For a backline that conceded two goals last Sunday, its first shutout of the season in its first ACC test is a much-needed confidence booster, Higgins said, even if they didn’t get the win.Said McIntyre: “It was a fun, three-hour slug.” Commentslast_img

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