After 90 minutes of action, the Syracuse Orange put on a solid display all around against the Cornell Big Red. The match was already 2-0 at 13 minutes in, and settled there for the rest, the Orange happy to sit defensively, absorb and see out the victory.
Syracuse trotted out in their now familiar 4-3-3, though freshman Hilli Goldhar started on the right flank for Tajon Buchanan. It can be assumed that Buchanan is being held out because of the injury that took him out of the Notre Dame match. There has been no official word on the extent of the injury.
Cornell started the match coming at the Orange, winning a pair of corners off the bat on two successive possessions, but it was the Orange who struck first. In the 7th minute, freshman Ryan Raposo pulled off a beautiful curler from the top of the 18 yard box. Raposo cut inside off a Goldhar pass, looked for options, noticed the keeper off his line and had one. It was class.
Five minutes later, Len Zeugner slotted home a second off a service from Ryan Raposo. The header found the back of the net past keeper Ryan Shellow. The Orange proceeded to take their foot a bit off the gas in the middle of the first half, allowing Cornell some attacking space, leading to some pressure on Hendrick Hilpert, though he was more than up for the task, registering five saves.
The second half, the Orange continued to put pressure on in spurts, but ultimately ended up absorbing Cornell’s attack, and countering when they could. There was no sense of urgency to put another on the board, though, there were a few good chances. They weathered the storm from he Big Red, Cornell taking 14 shots, 8 on goal. Hilpert expertly handled them and included a pair of highlight reel saves among the group. Senior centerback Kamal Miller looked good on the night as well, and likely back to full speed from a knee injury that has hampered him a bit in the recent weeks.
Overall the game proved a great point to get some quality minutes for Simon Triantafillou, Petter Stangeland, Djimon Johnson and to get John-Austin Ricks some time in a new role. The last two games he’s moved to one of the midfield spots, playing box to box. Similar to his role as a wingback, he can push forward and still have the motor to track back.
It was a good win on a horribly rainy night for the Orange. They return to action on September 14, on the road at Clemson. Those matchups have lived up to the hype in the past, so tune in to the broadcast on ESPN+ if you’re a subscriber. It should not disappoint.