Syracuse men’s soccer back to winning ways

Syracuse men’s soccer back to winning ways

Felipe D’Agostini scored twice in two minutes to give SU their first home win in two weeks.

Syracuse defender Gavin Wigg (#12) passes the ball between Yale's defenders on Wednesday.
Jack Henry
Syracuse defender Gavin Wigg passes the ball between Yale’s defenders on Wednesday.

The Syracuse men’s soccer team walked away with one of their best results of the season following a 2-0 win at SU Soccer Stadium against Yale.

With a change in emphasis that saw the Orange play a much more direct and pressing game, graduate midfielder Felipe D’Agostini scored twice in two minutes to provide a lead that the team would not relinquish.

Going into the match, the No.22 team in the nation looked to secure their first win at home since Oct. 3, following a loss against Temple and a draw against Clemson. As the game kicked off, it was clear that the boys from Syracuse were there to win.

The team’s energy was high from the get-go as head coach Ian McIntyre made several changes to both the structure of the squad and the players in the team. Most notably, McIntyre started D’Agostini in a forward position, graduate defender Pablo Pedregosa at left-wing-back and junior midfielder Mateo Leveque in central midfield.

McIntyre highlighted the need for a slight change in system compared to the challenge Syracuse faced on Sunday. “The Clemson game was a really different game than this. But yeah, they are very well coached and a good team,” McIntyre said. “Playing against that compact 4-4-2 is quite a bit different.”

In response, Syracuse started the game pressing higher up the field than typical and was quicker to move the ball up the field.

For the first five minutes of the game, the Bulldogs seemed unprepared for this tactical shift as the Orange dominated proceedings, creating multiple chances.

One player key to this high-energy mindset was the birthday boy, senior midfielder Nate Edwards, who McIntyre recently praised for his motor, performances and consistency.

“I’m always willing to make the extra run for my teammates. If they lose the ball, I love making recoveries and I love then turning around and running in behind,” Edwards said regarding his stamina.

Eventually, Syracuse’s high tempo, particularly spurred on by Edwards, began to pay dividends. In the 20th minute, Syracuse linked a series of quality passes on the right side of the pitch. Edwards was released into space, fizzing a perfect ball into the box that saw a first backheel touch from senior midfielder Jeorgio Kocevski, and a second for D’Agostini, who poked the ball home.

“I think that it was about time I get on the scoreboard, and just getting this momentum to contribute to the team is good,” said D’Agostini. “After I scored the first one, I got the momentum going and the confidence.”

Moments later, D’Agostini’s brilliant evening got even better as Syracuse doubled down on their lead. The Orange’s high pressure caused a Yale turnover just outside their box. Another series of intricate passes resulted in the ball coming to the feet of D’Agostini, who drove a shot into the bottom right corner.

Prior to this match, D’Agostini had only contributed one goal in his four starts. However, the decision to start the silky Brazilian paid off. After the game, Edwards commented on his connection to D’Agostini, as he was heavily involved in both goals.

“Felipe is a good guy,” said Edwards. “He told me before the game, it’s your birthday, I know you are going to shine and get an assist for me today.” Edwards was credited with assisting both goals.

Following the pair of goals, the first half continued in much duller fashion as the Orange looked to control the game with a slew of substitutions also taking to the pitch.

The second half resumed in much of the same manner. As Syracuse continued to control the game, the Bulldogs players and coaching staff continued to get more and more frustrated, eventually accumulating six yellow cards and a red.

Following the impressive win, Syracuse will look to continue their home stand on Sunday as they host North Carolina State in their final regular season home match.