SU vs. NC State

Men's soccer shuts out N.C. State in first round of ACC tournament

Orange to travel to Chapel Hill in quarter-finals, seeking revenge for a come-from-behind loss earlier in the season.

It only took 11 minutes for the Orange to pick up where they left off against North Carolina State Wednesday night in the first round of the ACC Tournament. Just 10 days earlier, Syracuse won in come-from-behind fashion against the very same Wolfpack. 


On a free-kick just outside the box, Julian Buscher kicked a hard liner that went through the left hole of the gapped six man wall the Wolfpack put in front of him. The goalie dove to his right but couldn’t smack the ball out as it glided across the side netting. 

Photo: Amanda Piela
Syracuse forward Chris Nanco chasing after a ball.


“When the goalie cheats he starts in the middle,” Buscher said. “There’s a wall for a reason and if he stays in the middle it’s easier to shoot in the other corner because it’s the same space and you have to decide, read the goalie. Luckiy, this time it went in.”


The midfielder’s team-leading eighth goal of the season was the only score in a back-and-forth first half.


North Carolina State came out of halftime a tad more aggressive and controlled the pace of play. They had two shots go just wide left between the 49 and 52 minute marks. But Syracuse wouldn’t concede the lead like the Wolfpack did in their last meeting.


In the 68th minute, Orange redshirt sophomore forward Kenny Lassiter replaced Ben Polk and made an immediate impact.


“Kenny brought an energy to the pitch tonight, it was heavy out there,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. 


Two minutes  after his entrance, Lassiter helped create the Syracuse’s second goal. He dribbled from midfield all the way to the edge of the box, maneuvering multiple defenders, and then crossed a pass on the ground to Chris Nanco, who settled it, and booted the ball over the keeper for a goal to the back right. 


“It’s a good NC State team, and they took it to the second half. Sometimes you get a bit nervous holding the lead and so it was important to get that second goal,” McIntyre said. “Kenny and ‘Nanc’s combine well.” 


Nanco had one shot earlier in the match that skimmed the top crossbar. 


“I’ve come close to scoring a lot of goals this year, just haven’t executed to get that final finish, but, I got one today,” Nanco said. “Keep going, we’re going to need more goals down the stretch.”


In the second round of the ACC Tournament, the Orange are set to play UNC, which will be the Orange’s second visit to Chapel Hill this season. Last time, they allowed two goals in the final 20 minutes to blow a 1-0 lead. 


“They don’t want to play us, and maybe that’s the best thing for us, if you know they’re a little bit scared” Buscher said. 


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