There's a lot going on in the Syracuse Orange Sports-verse at this juncture. Coaching searches, hoops starting, two national titles to revel in, but most importantly, an almost insurmountable lead in the Orange Eagle Competition. This weekend we look to add to the lead, as we take on the Boston College Eagles in the NCAA Soccer Tournament Quarterfinals.
Below I asked a few questions of Jack Stedman, (Who you can follow on Twitter) of the Boston College Newspaper The Heights, to get a little preview of how the Orange and BC matchup this weekend. I've answered some questions over at BC Interruption as well, that I'll link to as soon as they're up.
You folks are the only unseeded team left in the Quarterfinals. What’s gotten you to this point and what will it take to keep going?
Certainly no one could have imagined this type of run for the Eagles. It’s been special, and it’s taken both skill and luck to get to the Elite Eight. I thought the run would come in the ACC tournament, but they were quickly dismantled by Clemson.
That all being said, the attack has really propelled this team. This team can score and is especially dangerous on the counter where three or four guys can all create their own chances. Defense and blocking shots in particular, which they did a lot of against Georgetown, is key going forward.
Simon Enstrom won the College Soccer News POTW award last week. Not bad for a freshman. What do we need to look out for from him and his strike partner Trevor Davock?
Enstrom has been the true No. 9 for BC this year. He does well in hold-up play with his size and has an incredible technical ability with the ball at his feet. Davock has been playing out wide more, so look for the two to link up when Enstrom gets the ball at the top of the box and the speedier Davock makes a run towards goal. Of course, both are very capable of creating their own opportunities. Davock especially likes to cut in from a wide position for a shot.
You folks have a few notable alumni in Alejandro Bedoya, Charlie Davies and Kyle Bekker (We like Canadian internationals too!). Anyone on this squad looking to make a splash at the next level?
Zeiko Lewis, for sure. It’s hard to say anything definitive yet since most of the guys are so young, but there’s a lot of potential with Enstrom and Davock just based on their stats. Senior Atobra Ampadu has been playing at another level on defense this year, so he’s especially looking to get some looks from the MLS
Syracuse has only given up three goals in six games this postseason. What is BC looking to do to attack the Syracuse defense?
When BC has the possession, it’s looking wide to either Ike Normesinu, Moro, or Davock to start the attack. I think the counter will be more important, though. When BC wins the ball back, Lewis usually gets the ball in the middle and runs at the backline, and he’s capable of producing some magic to link up with any of the supporting cast. BC’s attacking line can really do damage when they are running at the defense with numbers.
Any predictions or other thoughts on how this will play out?
It’s going to come down to who scores first. Both teams are riding incredible hot streaks, so it’s going to be about converting early chances. Aside from the SMU game early in the season, BC has struck first in big wins to take the momentum early, and then on a number of occasion has done enough to hold on for the win. No specific prediction here, as I’m a firm believer in the jinx, but another 2-1 game in either direction seems likely. Chances will be had, and goals will be scored.
You folks beat Georgetown for us. For that we’re always thankful. I know this isn’t a question, but it needs to be said.
Always good to hark back to the glory days of the Big East.
Thanks again to Jack for the Q&A. Be sure to follow him on twitter and check out his work at The Heights and check out BC Interruption for anything pertaining to BC athletics that you would care to know.