Late Cardinal goal sinks the Orange

Despite scoring within the first three minutes of the game, the Orange were unable to hold the lead as they drop their second Big East conference game.

The Syracuse University men’s soccer team (9-4-0, 2-2-0 Big East) lost 2-1 to the Louisville Cardinals (7-4-0, 3-1-0 Big East) Saturday at the SU Soccer Stadium in front of a crowd of 1652.

Despite the cold weather, the Orange came out of the gates on fire as freshman midfielder Jordan Vale netted his sixth goal of the season after 2 minutes, 35 seconds of play. Vale headed the ball into the far post after a Jordan Murrell corner.

Syracuse dominated the first 20 minutes of play by controlling the ball, generating scoring chances and moving the ball effectively. The Cardinals, however, would not go down without a fight.

Louisville picked up the pace and stretched an Orange backline that was missing Skylar Thomas, a 6-foot-3 sophomore defender. The Cardinals tied the game with 17:42 to go after senior defender Greg Cochrane netted his fifth goal of the season.

“[Thomas] is a great player,” Murrell said after the game. “We’re always going to miss a player like him.”

Both teams went into the second half tied 1-1 with Syracuse being outshot 8-6. SU came into the game leading the Big East in points with 73 and goals with 26 on the season.

The second half started and Syracuse came out of the gates attempting to make long and difficult passes, which ultimately ended up in turnovers. Louisville kept pushing and stretching the Orange defense despite Syracuse’s attempt to contain the Cardinal offense.

Louisville’s attack culminated with 20:09 to go in the game when junior forward Zach Foxhoven netted a chip shot from nine yards out after breaking away from the Orange’s backline.

“[Louisville] is a good team,” SU Head Coach Ian McIntyre. “They’ve got some very dynamic, exciting attacking players and given time and space they can really hurt you.”

The game ended with Syracuse and Louisville both shooting the ball 13 times, but with the Cardinals recording six shots on target and the Orange recording four. Syracuse also committed 12 fouls in the game, four more than Louisville.

McIntyre said his team played well in the second half.

“We pressed higher [in the second half], and until the game really opened up I felt that they nicked it,” McIntyre said. “We huffed and puffed, and you have to give this group a tremendous amount of credit because they worked very hard to get that tying goal.”

McIntyre said also he thinks his team defended well in front of freshman goalkeeper Alex Bono. Bono recorded four saves in the game, all in the first half.

The Orange will return to the pitch on the road against the University of South Florida Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

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