SU soccer struggles offensively in shutout loss to No. 6 Duke

SU soccer blanked by visiting Blue Devils

Syracuse failed to score against a conference opponent for the first time this season.
Published: September 26, 2021
Syracuse's Buster Sjoberg (19) settles down a ball in the midfield during a men's Soccer vs. Louisville Cardinals on Sept. 17, 2021 at SU Soccer Stadium.
Syracuse's Buster Sjoberg (19) settles a ball at midfield against the Louisville Cardinals on Sept. 17, 2021.

The Orange came up empty Saturday night as the team’s record fell to 4-4-1 on the season. In a trench battle with rival No. 6 Duke, Syracuse men’s soccer failed to score for the first time in conference play this year.

In a game featuring double-digit fouls from both teams, SU could not find the net despite outshooting the Blue Devils. The Syracuse defense was the lone bright spot on the night, as they allowed just one goal despite surrendering four yellow cards.

Freshman attacker Curt Calov praised the back and middle line’s play but expressed his concerns as well.

“Our opportunities were there tonight, but I feel like we could not execute the thru-balls our midfielders gave us,” Calov said.

The offense looked stagnant at times, which can partially be attributed to the absence of sophomore Deandre Kerr. Kerr missed his second consecutive game Saturday after hurting himself against Lousiville on Sept. 17.

Junior defenseman Buster Sjoberg, who was carded and got caught out of position on the Duke goal, noted some of the team’s struggles after the game.

“Our nearside corrections and sideline traps were superb tonight, but we did have one breakdown that led to the goal,” Sjoberg said.

Duke forward Thorleifur Ulfarsson scored in the 82nd minute on a feed from Shakur Mohammed. The two connected on a beautiful cross from the left side and gave the Blue Devils the lone goal of the game. With both teams gassed for much of the second half, it was clear that one goal was probably all it would take to win the contest.

SU now has a short turnaround and plays the Vermont Catamounts, a team that is coming off just their second loss of the season, on Tuesday.

While the Orange have just three days between games, head coach Ian McIntyre hinted that Kerr could return, which would instantly kickstart the offense.