The #24 Syracuse Orange traveled to face the #11 Louisville Cardinals in a Top 25 ACC matchup that lived up to the billing with quality, finishing in a 2-2 draw. Both sides put in a quality shift, as to be expected in conference. A point on the road in a hostile ACC stadium is a solid takeaway for the Orange.
The match started with a familiar roster, the only alteration being the return of sophomore Tajon Buchanan from his red card suspension. From the start, you could tell it was going to be back an forth match, with Louisville building, Syracuse countering, then holding some possession.
It seemed early on that Louisville was trying to target the space in behind right back Sondre Norheim, which makes sense on paper, as he tends to be one to bomb forward. He had no problem whatsoever getting back to cover these chances, which is fitting for someone who I’ve said should have earned man of the match honors numerous times.
The scoring was opened in the sixteenth minute. Syracuse had been pressing very high all match again and caught the Cardinals in one of their corners. They tried to play an outlet, which was sneakily taken off the midfielder’s foot by Hugo Delhommelle and absolutely expertly slotted through the centerbacks to a streaking Tajon Buchanan. Buchanan put it bottom right corner for his fourth on the year.
The Orange offense didn’t stop, as some more great buildup and a nice cross from Ryan Raposo found Massimo Ferrin on the top of the 18. He put it just high on what would have been his third in two matches. Buchanan again continued the Orange scoring, getting on the end of a Kamal Miller, full field clearance, which he poked through for his fifth on the campaign. Close to the half, the Cardinals pulled one back on a set piece against the run of play, where Tate Schmitt got a head on the end of a low ball in, past Hilpert.
Early in the second half, the Orange looked to try and play the ball through the channels again from deep, specifically Simon Triantafillou. Louisville started upping the pressure and tempo. They pushed in the 53rd minute and drew a penalty on a Triantafillou handball. Adam Wilson took the ball down the center and past the diving Hendrick Hilpert who got a toe to it.
Louisville then continued to control the tempo through a few iterations after the equalizer before the Orange upped the tempo back with around 20 minutes to play in the game. Both squads had ample chances to finish, even more so Louisville through the final stages of the half, but it wasn’t to be had, and the game headed to extra time.
Syracuse pushed the tempo through the first period of extra time, with two shots, including a back post rocket from Jonathan Hagman, which just ricocheted off the post. The Orange definitely controlled the period, but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the second, the Cards came out hot, but the Orange countered, again to no avail, finishing in a 2-2 draw.
The draw moves the Orange to 7-4-2 on the year and 1-3-1 in the ACC. Syracuse continues the season on Tuesday at home against St. Bonaventure.