Syracuse University vs Louisville Men's Soccer, Sept 11, 2015

Men's Soccer battle with Louisville ends in draw

The first ACC match of the season concluded as a 1-1 tie with the Louisville Cardinals.

An evenly played match between the Syracuse Orange and Louisville Cardinals ended after double overtime in a 1-1 draw. Both ACC (3-1-1, 0-0-1 ACC) teams scored in the first half of a brisk Friday night that was unable to produce a victor, perhaps rightfully so.

"It was two honest teams that canceled each other out," Syracuse Head Coach Ian McIntyre said. "A fair result."

Photo: David "Sal" Salanitri

The first shot of the game was the first goal for the Orange. Eight minutes in, there was some loose defensive play in the Louisville backfield and Orange midfielder Julian Buescher took control of the ball. He passed to Olyvind Alseth just past the outer box who shot a dribbler that bounced through the goalies legs and towards the back of the net. The goal was Alseth's third of the season.

The Orange advantage was held until the final two minutes of the half. A Cardinal corner kick into the box was deflected off of someone's head and to the right foot of Cardinal midfielder Daniel Johnson. He fired a laser to the front left corner of the goal that seemed to defy all odds of making it there, as it seemed its path was blocked by about five players. It even made its way past a diving goalie in freshman Austin Aviza.

"I couldn't see it at all," Aviza said. "There were so many guys around, it must've deflected off someone."

Syracuse had back-to-back corner kicks around the 17-minute mark of the second half. The first landed in the box and Orange defender Miles Robinson gave a go at the goal, but with an outstretched arm Cardinal goalie Nick Jeffs smacked the ball away just before heading into the upper 90. The second was a curling corner that would have past the goal line on its own if not for an extra defender there to block its path.

Louisville had a free kick just beyond the outer box 23 minutes into the second half, but the Cardinal shooter’s kick was halted by the human wall placed in front of him. Pressure was high ensuing the kick but Syracuse was able to avoid a shot on goal.

The rest of the match, including both overtime periods, was well fought, mostly around midfield, and only produced one shot on goal.

There were 5 yellow cards presented in the match. There could have been more, but, obviously, it's at the referees discretion.

"I don't think [the physicality] was ever out of hand," McIntyre said. "It was two teams equally committed to battle."

After losing to the Cardinals twice last season, including a 2-1 defeat which bounced them out of the ACC tournament, McIntyre and his squad are content to be at least even again.

"We'll be a better team because of tonight and I'm very proud," McIntyre said.

Syracuse celebrated Military and First Responders Day as remembrance of 9/11. The 2,000 plus fans were able to see and take photos with local fire engines, a HUMVEE and a reaper drone.

Syracuse will face Wake Forest (4-0) next on Saturday, Sept. 19, in Winston-Salem.

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