The Syracuse Orange were able to find some of the potency in their offense that has been missing over the last few weeks against the Pittsburgh Panthers on Wednesday night. The team netted four goals throughout a game that included some great weather, a power outage and a deluge. The 4-0 victory kept the team alive in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
From the gate, you could see the Orange were capable of controlling this match. The team maintained possession and put pressure on the Pittsburgh goal early and often. Chris Nanco broke through in the eleventh minute, proving once and for all that pressuring the keeper can actually reap rewards. The senior pressured the Pittsburgh keeper after a back pass, was able to deflect the attempted clearance and the ball rolled into the back of the net for the opener.
Nanco once again got on the score sheet in the twenty first minute, taking a shot from just inside the eighteen yard box that curled on target past the keeper and deflected by a Pittsburgh defender. The brace puts Nanco back in front for the goal tally on the year as well as breaking his eleven game scoreless streak since September 9th against North Carolina State. Nothing like getting back on the wagon just in time for the postseason.
The Orange went into the half up 2-0, with a solid showing, outshooting the Panthers, 11-2, not really challenging the defense, despite playing without Miles Robinson, still sitting out for his red card offense in the last game. John-Austin Ricks filled in amiably for the defender, though he was taken off late in the match with an undisclosed injury.
Strangely the stadium power was shut off at approximately 8:00pm, extending halftime and causing a strange break in the action until Syracuse staff could get things sorted out. This of course pushed the game slightly later and allowed a full half of rain soaked fall soccer.
After the break, the weather played a part, making things a touch more sloppy on the pitch. You never know about the great equalizer, weather, and it allowed Pitt to put a few shots on goal to no avail. Jonathan Hagman netted both goals in the second half, including one putback on a Sergio Camargo long range shot and another on a ball received after a pinball in the six yard box. His brace puts him in second on the year for goals as well as points.
Overall solid effort from Syracuse. The four goal output was their high for the season and their first time over three goals in a month and change. They took care of business and put away Pittsburgh in order to move on in the ACC Tournament. Their next kickoff will be on Sunday against Clemson, down in South Carolina, at 1:00pm.