The Syracuse Orange took one down to the wire yesterday against the Loyola Marymount Lions. Johannes Pieles easily took home Man of the Match honors in this one, netting both his first and second college goals, including the golden goal in extra time to give the Orange the victory over a hardworking Loyola squad.
That was the lineup trotted out for the match by Coach Ian McIntyre. Minimal change from the opener, with Jonathan Hagman and Hampus Bergdahl getting the nod on the day.
Loyola attempted to put some defensive pressure on the Orange and break out of it, but were unable to muster a shot on goal in the first half. Syracuse controlled play and was able to capitalize in the 22nd minute, with Pieles slotting away his first of the night and the first of his career for Syracuse. The German had good positioning on the back post to clean up the deflection from Hagman’s shot.
While stout again in the first half, I’ve noticed the back three can be a little lackadaisical on their positioning and their passes out of the back so far this year. Kamal Miller has been great at getting forward, but it’s leaving the counter a little exposed, without the DM holding back or the wing dropping to cover the overlap. They did shut down anything that came their way in the first half.
At halftime, Jan Breitenmoser stayed on to start the second half. He had a very solid overall game, though he’s still seeming to be feeling out how his teammates are playing to a degree. He was able to get some decent time on the ball and we’ll see moving forward how things are looking for the freshman.
After the half, the Orange lost a little of the momentum, and Loyola was able to capitalize. While Syracuse was still controlling the run of play, a beautiful piece of work by Loyola Marymount’s Adrien Perez lead to the equalizer. Perez cut across the top of the box, probably 20-25 yards out, with a snap shot that beat the Syracuse defense and Hendrik Hilpert. Not much that could be done on a beautiful piece of individual brilliance.
The equalizer sparked the Lions and most of their shots came immediately following the goal, looking to up the tally. They defense held and they came up empty, forcing extra time. Syracuse battered the Loyola defense for what seemed like the entire 10 minutes of the first period, registering shots on target by Chris Nanco, Kenny Lassiter and the aforementioned Breitenmoser.
Nanco and Lassiter have looked a solid combination up top, playing well off each other. Pieles is a great addition, though I did notice he can go missing at points during the match. As you can tell, the man can show up in the big moment though, netting both goals.
They broke through for the winner on a corner in the second extra time period. Alseth took the looping corner into the edge of the six, which Pieles was able to get his head to and slot a great back post header for the Orange victory.
This moves the squad to 2-0-0 on the year, heading into another home stand week. The local derby against Colgate is this Thursday at 7pm up at the stadium and Sunday evening the Orange take on St. Johns again at home.