Men's soccer: Orange's second-half rally comes up short against Notre Dame

Despite 10 corner opportunities in the latter frame, SU fails to overcome late Irish goal.

In front of a record crowd of 2,442 at SU Soccer Stadium on Friday, No. 20 Syracuse looked to avenge last year’s 3-0 shutout at the hands of defending national champion Notre Dame. 

But despite hanging with the No. 4 Fighting Irish (3-1-1, 1-0-0 ACC) through much of the match, the Orange couldn’t overcome a second yellow card issued to Skylar Thomas in the second half. On the ensuing reset, Brandon Aubrey sent a header past SU goalkeeper Alex Bono in the 75th minute, and Notre Dame held on for a 1-0 victory.

“To give up a set piece on the ensuing play is disappointing for us,” Bono said. “Set pieces are something we take pride on defending and attacking so it’s a real knock on what we believe in.

“That was tough for us, but we put a lot of effort in those last 15 minutes, even without a center back, and we pushed guys forward and we had chances to tie the game.”

The goal was the first allowed this season by Bono, who posted a new season-high with seven saves.

The Thomas foul was also crucial because it left the Orange without one of its best defenders

But despite being down with 15 minutes left against one of the best defenses in the nation, the Orange (4-1-0, 0-1-0 ACC) didn’t back down. Playing with just ten men on the field, it was able to force 10 corner kicks and manufacture two more shots but couldn’t capitalize.

The closest SU came to tying the game was when midfielder Oyvind Alseth clanked a shot off the post from outside the box during the final 10-minute stretch.

One of the bright spots for the Orange was sophomore Alex Halis, who came off the bench and immediately created opportunities for his teammates. He had two shots in addition to his stellar passing.

“Alex was awesome coming off the bench. Really gave us a spark,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said.

Syracuse will look to bounce back on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. when it takes on Cornell at SU Soccer Stadium. 

Said McIntyre: “We have good a good group that works hard, that is very honest and what can I say? What a marvelous crowd and what a great atmosphere for a college game and I think that we entertained tonight but we did not pick up any points.”

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