Louisville, Kentucky. Never will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy... wait, wrong city.
Louisville's a pretty nice place, but their university hasn't been kind to Syracuse sports teams this year. After the debacle at the Dome, I was looking forward to getting some revenge on the pitch. Alas, that wasn't to be the case. Syracuse entered the match 12-1-0 and sitting Number 2 in the country.
Per Skortchaser's recap (and any other I've seen as well), the first half was pretty uneventful from a soccer standpoint. Scoring opened off of a handball in the box led to a PK for Syracuse's Nick Perea. He slotted it home to take the tally to 1-0. Tim Kubel equalized late with a PK off of a handball in the box of his own. It was noted that neither foul looked much like a penalty worth handball.
Due to a red card on Alex Halis, this contest went into overtime with the Orange down a man. Regarding the acting job that got Halis sent off:
It also resulted in Kubel springing back to peak form within seconds despite the seemingly season-ending ankle injury. The Syracuse and Louisville authors agree that the incident looked like an act worth of a Tony (we’d like to say an Oscar, but we have yet to find the episode on video). The cringe-worthy performance was almost as painful to watch for the Louisville student/author as it appeared to be for the maimed player. But if Halis had not committed the impetuous shove earlier in the contest, this acting opportunity would not have been so significant to the outcome. Remember that, kids: avoid flagrant intentional fouls and stay on the good side of the officials.
Unfortunately College rules are Golden Goal in OT, so the first team to find the back of the net is declared the victor. Louisville happened to be the first to convert and therefore won the game on a Kubel free kick that connected with Jerry Ramirez's head.
The loss, which put the Orange at 12-2-0 on the campaign, is of course reflected in the polls:
Hopefully the Orange can work on their buildup play, which has been a minor bit of a weakness all year (in games I've seen, as well as mentioned by the aforementioned Skortchaser). They are extremely effective from a set piece or off a counter, but prolonged possession (which they are extremely proficient at) hasn't led to many good looks at goal.
Bucknell heads up to the Hill Tuesday night. The Bison are 6-8-0 on the year and should hopefully be a chance for the Orange to get back on track.