Syracuse looks to keep postseason hopes alive against Wake Forest

The Orange are 2-2-1 over the last five games and have failed to produce much on offense. But if SU wins Friday, it will go into the ACC tournament an 11-6-1 record.

When Syracuse defeated the Clemson Tigers for its biggest victory to date, there wasn’t too much time to celebrate. The Orange (10-6-1) needed to immediately prepare for at least one final road trip against Wake Forest.

A win is necessary to keep its chances of reaching the ACC Tournament. The top eight teams in the regular season will advance to the conference tournament. The Demon Deacons (8-4-5), meanwhile, have already clinched a spot in the postseason and currently hold the third seed in the conference.

The success comes in large part due to the dynamic duo of senior midfielder Luca Gimenez and junior forward Sean Okoli. Both men have been largely responsible for the offensive production for the Demon Deacons this season.

Giminez became the team leader in goals on Saturday after converting on a penalty kick in a 3-1 loss to Notre Dame. Okoli has scored six goals on the season, which has led to both men accumulating for 13 of the team’s 21 goals this year.

Unlike Syracuse, Wake Forest has been more successful playing in arguably the most difficult conference in the NCAA. The Deacons’ most notable win of the season came on Oct. 19, when it upended the Maryland Terrapins in College Park.

Syracuse enters its crucial match up against Wake Forest facing a drought offensively, with three goals combined in the last five games.

Coach Ian McIntyre’s team has competed against the premier teams of the ACC due to its veteran defensive presence. Junior defensemen Skylar Thomas and Jordan Murrell have anchored a unit that allowed a mere two goals in the past five games. Despite the success defensively, the Orange are 2-2-1 records over that five game stretch.

The stage is set for another classic battle in Winston-Salem, N.C. As the Orange plays with its season on the line, it remains to be seen if Syracuse can defeat another top tier conference opponent in consecutive weeks.

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