Syracuse men’s soccer stays perfect at home
SU men’s soccer stays perfect at home
The No. 1 Orange down UAlbany to get their third home win in as many games.
The Syracuse men’s soccer team continued to defend its home pitch by beating the UAlbany Great Danes 1-0 for their third home victory in as many games.
A low-scoring affair saw SU graduate student defenders Buster Sjoberg and Josh Belluz, a natural midfielder who excelled at the defender position, star as the No. 1 Orange produced yet another shutout at home. The result follows two shutout wins at home against Providence and Binghamton.
The Orange (3-0-1) allowed their solitary goal of the season in Friday’s tie at Penn State. SU’s goal differential sits at plus-six through four games.
“If we keep [clean sheets] we’ll win soccer matches because we’ve got the ability,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said about keeping UAlbany scoreless. “Overall, I’m very proud of the guys to get a clean sheet and the three points.”
The Orange had a 14-5 advantage in shots and a 7-2 edge in corner kicks. There wasn’t as much of a disparity in shots on goal with SU tallying three attempts on target compared to two from the Great Danes.
Syracuse started the first half as the superior team, even keeping Albany from getting a single shot on target for the first 25 minutes. The Orange outclassed their competition for most of the 45 minutes but failed to take advantage and convert in the final third.
The Great Danes would go on to test Syracuse twice during the final moments of the half, but the Syracuse defense kept the game scoreless.
Albany controlled the ball for most of the final 15 minutes of the game and produced chances at goal during the half, most notably one during the 75th minute after a Syracuse mistake gave them possession but failed to get anything past sophomore goalkeeper Jahiem Wickham.
Wickham didn’t find himself very busy in his first career start, finishing the evening with two saves.
Albany did its best to make Syracuse uncomfortable, forcing three yellow cards and seven offsides from the Orange. The home team responded appropriately by outpassing and shooting their opponents, as well as dominating them in their own third for most of the match.
“They looked to frustrate us and they did for large parts of the game,” McIntyre said. “They’ve got good players, and on days like that when they’re set up to frustrate, if we’re not quite clicking, it becomes a really long evening.”
The Orange begins ACC play at 8 p.m. Friday when they host No. 12 Louisville at SU Soccer Stadium. The clash with the Cardinals is just the beginning of a difficult conference schedule that will see SU face a nationally-ranked opponent in each of its first four ACC matches.