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Syracuse Men's Soccer: Orange Win First Derby Day Over LeMoyne

The LeMoyne College Dolphins traveled all the way across University Hill to match up with the Syracuse Orange Men's Soccer team in the penultimate game of the Orange's spring season. LeMoyne took the 5 minute bus ride back home slightly less happy than when they came.

Syracuse Men's Soccer starting lineup against LeMoye
Syracuse Men's Soccer starting lineup against LeMoye
SU Men's Soccer Twitter

The Syracuse Orange have had a few interesting matches this spring season. They've taken on professional teams, they've played a Canadian team in sub freezing weather, and their latest match was against our crosstown friends LeMoyne College this Sunday on a beautiful sunny day. As seen below:

  • Away vs Bethlehem Steel FC - L
  • Away vs Rochester Rhinos - L - 0-1
  • Away vs New England Revolution - W - 1-0 (Lassiter 19')
  • Home vs Vaughan FC - L - 1-2 (Cross 70')
  • Home vs LeMoyne - W - 3-0 (Lassiter 5', Lassiter 29', Robinson 67')
This leads us to our current "Derby Day" match against LeMoyne. I'm looking for a name for this game and I'm hoping we can make it an annual spring staple, as there were a good number of fans out for it (for a spring match). Throw your suggestions in the comments.

Syracuse trotted out Coach McIntyre's favored 3-5-2 with some different names on the team sheet than expected. The back three were thought to return intact, but Louis Cross was not present at the core of the centerbacks. Cross played earlier in the spring, but his absence today was unknown. Instead, Oscar Sewerin got the first start I have seen. The Sophmore from Stockholm held his own with a solid game between the two incumbent starters.

Morgan Hackworth filled in aptly for the departed Jusso Pasanen in the number six role. He play the holder well and also showed some versatility out on the wing later in the match. Ado Bakalovic and Chris Gomez played on the flanks, both working forward and getting back for their defensive responsibilities as needed. Jonathan Hagman has some shoes to fill in the number 10 role now that Julian Buescher is playing with DC United, but seems capable. Very comfortable with the ball at his feet and active in and around the box, we should know more about these folks after more than a single game, but all looked to be solid and confident in their roles.

From the opening whistle, the Dolphins were undoubtedly outmatched, but tried their best to make a game of it. Syracuse controlled the ball and the pace, and was quickly able to shut down any sort of counter coming their way. Miles Robinson and Kamal Miller showed their experience and quality over the course of the match, were confident as ball playing defenders and were able to minimize any sort of attack LeMoyne could muster. Robinson in particular was smooth and assertive in his reading the game, be it a simple ball back across the middle or up the line. Miller on top of his defensive play, put in some quality long switches to Chris Nanco, opening the field for the Orange and starting the attack.

Up top, it seems we can expect a good bit of Kenny Lassiter and Nanco. Lassiter netted two on the day and was great at hold up play and with his hustle, often popping up in places that he wasn't expected. Nanco used his well known pace and burst to run circles around the LeMoyne defense.

Of the new faces, Bakolovic and Gomez both impressed on the wing. Gomez seemed more than willing to get forward and put in a cross and track back. Glad to see him on the pitch after not featuring in his freshman year. He's eligible for a redshirt and should be a solid contribution to the squad this year. He was a top rated recruit from the Union Academy and all scouting reports I've seen seem to like him pushing up to join the attack.

Ado was all over the pitch this match. Between rotating various positions and getting up and back, he's been pretty adept at popping up everywhere. I look forward to where he slots in to the squad. Good to see the highly touted local product out of Utica getting some run.

Overall the team looked solid. The score on the day was 3-0, but it felt even more in control by the Orange. Well drilled and a touch of confidence that wasn't there this time last year. It was good to see the patience on the ball and the control through the midfield, even with the turnover that they've had. This Saturday, the Orange will be home against Herkimer, at time currently TBD.