The Syracuse Orange continue their winless streak in the ACC after a 2-0 loss to the No. 22 Virginia Cavaliers on Friday night. As has been the case, the Orange looked a strong side that just didn’t finish and had a few moments of lax defending, with Virginia capitalizing on the mistakes.
Starting the match, Syracuse opted for a three-man back line, with Norheim, Zeugner and Miller manning the defense. This may have been to try and force the overlap and overload a very solid Virginia defense. With Sophomore Tajon Buchanan, the normal starting striker, out, the Orange had some new faces in the starting lineup. The moves pushed Massimo Ferrin farther forward, Djimon Johnson out wide to the right wingback role and John Austin Ricks into almost a wide forward role in a 3-4-3.
The teams battled back and forth for almost all of the first half. A few chances on either side came to nothing and the play resulted in a good number of quick clearances and safe play. In the 42nd minute, Kennedy Nwabia was able to clear Kamal Miller, who was marking him and send home a set piece header from a Joe Bell service. The goal changed the face of what looked to be an even tilt heading into the half.
It’s a packed house at the SU Soccer Stadium, but there’s room for a few more! The Orange need your help as they look to battle back from a 1-0 deficit at the half! pic.twitter.com/RAvNgTgXv8— SU Men's Soccer (@CuseMSOC) September 21, 2018
Coming out of the half, the Orange looked to push again, but were caught on a restart after Colin Shutler, the UVA keeper, sent a goal kick long, it was played wide, and the cross finished by midfielder Nathaniel Crofts, to put the Cavaliers up 2-0. After conceding again, the Orange proceeded to outshoot the Cavs 9-1.
While the Orange conceded twice and haven’t broken through in the ACC yet, they still looked quite solid and are poised to surprise as this young team matures. This Virginia side is stingy enough to have only allowed a single goal on the season. They’re a talented team and it was a great challenge for this team as the season matures.
The Orange return to SU Soccer Stadium on Monday against another talented Colgate Red Raiders team at 7 p.m. ET. The Raiders are on the cusp of the Top 25, and should be another welcome challenge for the team.