SU Soccer: Syracuse vs. North Carolina

Syracuse men's soccer team plays to scoreless draw with No.4 North Carolina

Battle of top-5 teams ends in tie after two overtimes on rainy Friday evening at SU Soccer Stadium

The Syracuse and North Carolina men’s soccer teams came into Friday’s game at the SU Soccer Stadium with nearly identical records and top five rankings. The similarities between the two teams proved to be indicative of the result on the field, as the game finished in a 0-0 tie.

The tie was the first of the season for both teams, with No. 3 Syracuse moving to 8-1-1 and No. 4 North Carolina to 7-1-1.

Photo: Jonathan Colon
Kamal Miller, a defender for the Syracuse Orange men's soccer team , performs a slide tackle as Tucker Hume, a forward for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels men's soccer team, attempts to score.

Each team had a number of chances to win the game and both sides were affected by the weather conditions, as a light rain fell throughout most of the contest. The rain made it very difficult to control the ball, forcing Syracuse players and coaches to make adjustments.

“As you can tell it is a pretty slick surface tonight. There’s limiting your mistakes and capitalizing,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said.

Syracuse forward Sergio Camargo agreed, highlighting the impact bad weather can have on a game.

“The only thing it changed was that we were more secure in the back,” Camargo said. “We wanted to play in their half more. We did not want to lose it in our half, it is such a dangerous field right now with how slick it is.”

The game saw good defense and possession from both sides. North Carolina started the game with high pressing and good tempo, winning the ball up the field and preventing Syracuse from gaining any momentum or possession up the field throughout the half.

UNC produced multiple chances through its pressing in the beginning of the first half, forcing Syracuse keeper Hendrik Hilpert to make a few smart saves. Things got even more challenging for Syracuse when forward Kenny Lassiter had to leave the game with an injury after a hard collision with a North Carolina player with 25 minutes left to go in the period. However, Syracuse started to rally with around 10 minutes left, forcing saves from North Carolina goalkeeper James Pyle.

The second half was as evenly matched as the first, with good defense and missed chances from both sides. Syracuse’s best chance of the second half came with nine minutes left as forward Chris Nanco cut inside from the left sideline and fired a shot that bounced off the inside of the top crossbar.

The two 10-minute overtime periods saw both teams tire and struggle to complete passes and press effectively, slowing down the game.

McIntyre acknowledged the quality of the opposition and how tough of a game it was.

“That’s an elite UNC team,” McIntyre said. “This is a team that is favorites for the conference and we will probably look back at the end of the season and say this was a good point, although we probably had a couple of the better chances to try and steal something tonight.”

The tie leaves Syracuse in third in the Atlantic division of the Atlantic Coast Conference at 2-1-1, behind Wake Forest and Louisville.

Syracuse will return to action on Tuesday against Albany. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at John Fallon Field in Albany, New York. 

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