Deandre Kerr scores lone goal to push Syracuse soccer past Saint Francis
Kerr scores lone goal in SU soccer's win over Saint Francis
Syracuse beat Saint Francis 1-0 in its final non-conference game of the season thanks to a goal from freshman Deandre Kerr. The Orange came into Tuesday’s game after a disappointing overtime loss to North Carolina State last weekend.
Head coach Ian McIntyre described the victory as an important win.
“We had such an emotional loss on Friday that I’m just happy for the guys to see some smiles on their faces,” McIntyre said. “It’s tough to win soccer matches at this level, and I thought we were pretty dominant from start to finish.”
The Orange came out on the attack early a few minutes into the game. Movement from the wing delivered a ball to Jeorgio Kocevski, who hit the post and was inches away from giving Syracuse the early lead.
Syracuse had chances to score all game, as they found their attack to be working successfully on the wings when crossing the ball into the box.
In the first half, the Orange had multiple opportunities to put a couple of goals in the net against the Red Flash. They hit the crossbar numerous times early on. Manel Busquets was one of the players who was unable to get in the scorer’s sheet as he shot one from a distance and hit the post.
Syracuse continued to attack the defense in the first half but was unable to find the net in clear goal-scoring opportunities.
Later in the first half, the Orange were stuck in a scoreless gridlock, but still winning the possession battle, until Kerr broke the stalemate. He beat the Saint Francis defenders with his speed and dribbling, slipping the ball into the right corner past the Red Flash’s goalkeeper to put the Orange up 1-0.
“I just knew I had the pace to get to by him, and once I did, I kept composure and put it in the corner,” Kerr said.
It was Kerr’s fourth goal of the season and second in SU’s last two matches.
Saint Francis had a scoring opportunity late in the first half from a free-kick that found its way into the box, but goalkeeper Russell Shealy put an end to any surge the Red Flash had late in the half. The Orange dominated possession, with 12 corners alone in the half.
The Orange doubled the number of corner kicks they had in their previous game against NC state in a single half. To cap off an impressive first-half performance, the Orange also had nine shots compared to Saint Francis.
The team continued to control possession in the second half. The Orange dominated most of the second half by controlling the ball and limiting the Saint Francis attack. The midfielders for Syracuse moved the ball offensively, often feeding the ball into the Red Flashes box.
Late in the second half, a spark from the Orange led to a counterattack, which led to a goal-line save from Red Flash goalie Jonas Dieseler — preventing a 2-0 Orange lead. A few moments later, Busquets was denied in a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper to keep the game to a one-goal lead.
McIntyre praised Busquets’ performance, saying he did everything but score and caused problems for the opposing defense.
Kerr, with a few minutes left in the game, had an opportunity for his second goal of the game but was unable to capitalize.
The Red Flash showed improvements late in the game, putting the Syracuse defense on their heels. But at the end of a windy afternoon game, Shealy and the Orange kept a clean sheet against Saint Francis for their second win of the season.
When looking ahead to the matchup against Boston College, Kerr looked at the victory today in a positive light.
“With the number of chances we created today, on a day on Sunday against Boston College like those could be going in,” Kerr said. “so we just got to stay strong defensively, and then the chances will come off.”
The Orange look to continue this momentum when they return to ACC play on Easter Sunday against Boston College.