Syracuse men’s soccer ties No. 15 UNC 0-0 in double overtime

SU men's soccer ties UNC 0-0 in 2OT

The Orange move out of the ACC basement after picking up their first point in conference play.
Published: March 20, 2021
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Tim Schels (UNC 28) defends as Amferny Sinclair (SU 5) attempts to shoot the ball at Syracuse University's soccer stadium.

Goals were as scarce as the clouds on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Syracuse as the Orange finished 0-0 against the No. 15 UNC Tar Heels in double overtime.

Most of the match was characterized by a fight for control of the ball, with lots of turnovers but not many offensive chances for either side.

Syracuse had trouble getting anything on target against the strong UNC defense, being outshot 4-0 in the first half. Maryland transfer Russell Shealy played at goalkeeper and easily made the only two saves in regulation.

The second half steered a bit more toward the Orange as they let up only two more off-target shots and had one of their own. Even so, neither side could create anything significant until the very end of the half.

Perhaps the most exciting moment of the game was in the last seconds of regulation. Manel Busquets ran into the box to take a shot, got blocked the first time, but finally got a shot in the back of the net at the horn. But the excitement from scoring would quickly subside as the officials called a foul by Busquets, taking away the goal and sending the game into extra time.

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Akeim Clarke (UNC 25) and Kyle Gruno (SU 14) race to the ball at Syracuse University's soccer stadium.

The start of overtime involved a whopping four substitutions for UNC and one for SU, likely in an effort to change the scoreless nature of the game. The Tar Heels’ Aldair Sanchez did get a shot off after four minutes, but it went wide left. The Orange quickly answered two minutes later with a shot by Hilli Goldhar that also missed just high of the goal.

Finally, halfway through the second OT period, it seemed like UNC could end the game. Giovanni Montesdeoca found a window and shot the ball high center, but it was saved by SU’s Shealy for his third and final save of the game.

With the draw, Syracuse is now 1-6-4 with 4 games remaining in the season. They are 0-2-1 in the ACC, making them fifth place out of six teams in the Atlantic Division. They also have the third-lowest record of the entire ACC, ahead of only Boston College and Virginia Tech.

The Orange look to beat NC State next week on Friday, Mar. 26. NC State is one position ahead in the conference and division, coming off a 0-0 tie against Wake Forest, and are playing No. 1 Clemson hours after Syracuse’s tie. Perhaps the Orange can pick up a win and improve the worst record they’ve had in years.