SU Men's Soccer v. Duke

Syracuse gave it their all, but it wasn't enough against Duke

Down two goals in the second half, men's soccer's effort to battle back come up short.

Syracuse men’s soccer team welcomed Duke to SU Soccer Stadium trying to snap a two-game home losing streak on Sept. 22. However, a 2-1 defeat to the Blue Devils saw the Orange (3-2-2, 0-1-2 ACC) fall to the away team.

Beginning in the first half, Syracuse came out hungry to win after losing the last two matches against Louisville and Cornell. Coach Ian McIntyre says it had been a tough couple of games.

Photo: Deandre Curtis
In only the fifth time the two teams have competed, Syracuse Men's Soccer fell to Duke 2-1.

“We are in a results based industry, it’s a process though,” said Coach McIntyre. “We’re a young group, we’re going to need to be patient.”

Throughout the half, the Orange continued to give it their all and controlled possession a majority of time. The biggest chance came from Syracuse forward Tajon Buchanan, who had a one-on-one chance with Duke goalkeeper Will Pulisic. Buchanan's shot rocketed off Pulisic's face, and the Syracuse fans were left in disbelief their team wasn't up 1-0. 

Unfortunately for Syracuse, in the 35th minute, Duke took the lead with a goal by Brian White.

Syracuse defender Kamal Miller said the team knew they needed a win so playing harder may have been a problem leading up to that goal.

“We had a lot of possession so that caused us to be a bit stretched and as soon as we turned over the ball they were able to counter us,” says Miller. “A missed pass from me turned the ball over and they came back at us, and got a goal.”

Heading into the second half of the match, Duke remained in the lead and dominated the play. In the 53rd minute, a Duke corner fell to captain Markus Fjortoft. Fjortoft put his leg to the ball, which slid past Hilpert and into the neck.

The Orange became even more fired up. This energy on the field led to a goal in the 77th minute. Syracuse defender Jan Breitenmoser knocked the ball with his heel towards the center of the goal box where midfielder Jonathan Hagman was there to finish the shot into the back of the net. This was Hagman’s fifth goal of the season. 

“Jan tried to spin around and shoot,” says Hagman. “I don’t know if it was meant to be a pass but the ball fell to me and the goal was open.”

With Syracuse on the scoreboard, they pushed even harder in order to get that win in the remaining 13 minutes. In the end, Syracuse fell short and lost 2-1.

Coach McIntyre was proud of his team and says how they were the better team tonight, just not according to the scoreboard.  

“We’ve got another game on Monday against a very good Colgate team on the road. They will provide us some very different challenges than Duke did tonight but it’ll be an opportunity for us to get back out there.”

The men will play two away games this week, starting with Colgate on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. and Pittsburgh on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.

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