OT goal downs Syracuse for second-straight loss

In a back and forth contest, a lack of quality in the final third proved costly.

Syracuse men's soccer dropped four places in the United Soccer Coaches poll for its men from 7 to 11 before its match against Cornell. After the Orange lost 1-0 to its in-state rivals, expect them to drop a lot more.

For Coach Ian McIntyre and Syracuse (4-2-2, 0-1-1 in ACC), this result is a missed opportunity for them to gain any momentum ahead of a busy week.

The game started off strong for Syracuse, with more passing and possession compared to the 2-1 loss against Louisville on Sept. 15. An early substitution forced by the referee meant forward Tajon Buchanan needed to be taken off, only to reappear five minutes later. Syracuse looked the dominant team, however once they reached the final third of the field, chances couldn't come.

The most significant chance in the first half was for Syracuse. A shot from Buchanan bounced off a Cornell defender and fell to midfielder Jonathan Hagman. With one touch, his shot left Cornell goalkeeper Mitchell Meyer dead in his tracks. But as the ball ricocheted off the post, the Syracuse fans voiced their disbelief from the crowd.

Cornell also had their chances, which would have been against the run of play. Forward George Pedlow was played in, yet the presenece of defender Sondre Norheim threw him off, and Pedlow played the ball over.

Coach McIntyre made three substitutions in the first half, brinigng on Petter Stangeland, Simon Triantafillou and Lukas Rubio. This proved an instant spark as the Orange looked for the opener. However, it came to no avail.

"The freshmen played really well. Simon and Lukas came on and their fresh legs provided good chances," McIntyre said.

The second half started out the same. Syracuse forced an early shot on goal through Buchanan. Minutes later, a diagonal ball from Rubio ended up in Triantafillou's path, but his shot was blocked.

As the clock ticked on, the game became more physical. The game opened up as both teams had the potential to create a chance on either end of the field. But as the clock struck 90, it remained goalless.

Coach McIntyre made a tactical change entering overtime, moving Buchanan to the right wing to provide speed down the wing. There was movement along the wing, however that position became exposed in the 98th minute. Cornell midfielder Tyler Bagley noticed the far side wide open with teammate Ryan Hill with space. The pass landed on Hill's feet, and placed the ball past a flailing Hilpert.

"Cornell were the better side, and they made it count." Coach McIntyre said.

Syracuse will aim to stop the skid when they host Duke on Sept. 22. The game starts at 7 p.m. at SU Soccer Stadium.

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