16 Sep

Syracuse men’s soccer’s defense tallies strong outing in ACC tourney 1st-round win without star defender

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 2, 2016 at 10:59 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Clad in a blue, rain-drenched jacket, one of college soccer’s best defenders watched the defensive unit he usually anchors churn out yet another strong performance. He saw it cut off passes, dribbles and shots. He looked on as Syracuse’s back four denied long runs and second touches. With a hood covering his head, Miles Robinson gazed at a unit once so dependent on him shut down an opponent for the second-straight game.Battered and left without its best defender, No. 5 seed Syracuse (11-3-3, 3-2-3 Atlantic Coast) cruised to a 4-0 victory over 12th-seeded Pittsburgh (2-13-3, 0-6-2) in the first round of the ACC tournament on Tuesday night. As light rain turned into a downpour and fans slowly filed out of SU Soccer Stadium with each SU goal, the Orange played one of its best defensive games all year. Even without Robinson, its sophomore defender, Syracuse advanced to the ACC quarterfinal thanks to its eighth shutout victory in 2016.“When we can press and we work hard,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said, “it disrupts and makes life uncomfortable for opponents.”Syracuse will play at Clemson on Sunday in the ACC tournament quarterfinal at 1 p.m. It’s a rematch of last year’s national semifinal in which the Tigers advanced past the Orange on penalty kicks. The teams played to a scoreless tie two weeks ago at Clemson.Tuesday’s win over Pittsburgh, a team whose season ended not having won since Sept. 26, is largely thanks to Chris Nanco, whose two goals gave the Orange a lead it would not relinquish. The senior forward had not scored since Sept. 9. Jonathan Hagman pitched in his fourth and fifth goals of the year for insurance. SU scored more than two goals in a game for the first time since a 3-0 victory over Cornell on Sept. 20.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Tuesday’s defensive showing proved how much Syracuse has grown in its four games without Robinson. When the sophomore left for the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team in early October, Syracuse’s defense faltered. The Orange gave up three goals in two games, including a 2-1 upset at Albany and a 1-0 loss at Louisville.When Robinson returned after a two-game hiatus, Syracuse shut out its next three opponents, two of which were top-15 teams. Then, when Robinson obtained a red card in the sixth minute against No. 2 Wake Forest last week, the Orange faced another dire situation in which it had to scrap together a makeshift defense.Syracuse responded to its man-down situation by sinking in and playing with a defensive-first mindset. Kamal Miller’s goal tied the Demon Deacons, 1-1. On Tuesday, Syracuse again played without Robinson.McIntyre, in a soaked blue dress shirt, panned the field as Syracuse played. He opted to stand on the sideline and yell to his players instead of sit in the covered bench.“Johannes stop the pin!”“Drop back John, drop back!”“Get there Segio!” the head coach yelled as Sergio Camargo pounced on a defender.Robinson’s absence was felt as midfielders shifted to more defensive roles. Pittsburgh’s center area near the 18-yard box opened up at times, creating lanes, especially toward the end of the game. That’s an area that, with Robinson, likely would have been clogged.Syracuse’s defense grew more active in the second half. SU dropped back after securing 75 percent of possession in the first half. Freshman defender John-Austin Ricks sunk in coverage in an amplified role.Midway through the second half, a Panthers shot sailed just over Syracuse goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert’s outstretched arm — Pitt’s only real quality look on goal.“We were ready for the challenge,” senior defender Louis Cross said.It’s now been four games that Syracuse has taken the field without its best defender. The last two have verified that Syracuse can suffocate teams with a relentless backline — even without him. Commentslast_img read more

27 Aug

Campus Sports: Elites claim historic Ashesi FA Cup

first_imgThe Ashesi football community completed their fourth edition of the FA Cup with Elites club claiming the prestigious title with the club completed a full circle from being minnows to achievers in their four years of existence.As it was in the first edition of the FA Cup, it took the lottery of spot kicks to decide the winner.Daniel Annang of Kasanoma put the newbies ahead but experience head and Elites veteran Hudson Lekunze  restored parity for the eventual champions.Elites had all their players score all their penalties to claim a 5-3 victory against an up and coming Kasanoma team that showed a lot of promise in their first attempt for the trophy.Both final year coaches, Ernest Kufour and Ekow Spio,  were in dire need of a trophy to leave the Berekuso campus with a shining piece of silverware and were both at their imperious best tweaking and adjusting formations in a classic tactical battle.   The structure of Ashesi’s version of the FA Cup was as follows: a first round playoff match between the fourth (League Of Legends) and fifth (Highlanders) placed teams from the league campaign for a slot in the semifinal after which a draw was made for the semifinal itself.The eventual winners of the semifinal proceeded to the final with Elites claiming the title.Red Army are the most successful side in the FA cup winning two with  the now defunct Walabele and Elites all tied on one.last_img read more