Syracuse doesn’t convert chances in 2-0 loss to No. 22 Virginia

first_img Published on September 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34 Comments Even Delhommelle’s kicks on set pieces, which have found success this season, came up empty for SU. A corner kick in the 62nd minute made its way over the Cavaliers’ defense to Jonathan Hagman, though his lefty kick merely pushed the ball into the side of the net. A free kick five minutes later was caught by UVA’s goalie, Colin Shutler. The next was deflected away before it got into the box.With just under 18 minutes left, the wind took hold of a Delhommelle corner. It hung just long enough for freshman defender Michael Lantry to settle under it, only for his ensuing header to deflect off the crossbar. The rebound bounced to SU’s fellow defender John-Austin Ricks, whose shot sailed high.Ricks came to a stop once his shot went awry. He sunk his head and put it in his hands. He wasn’t alone in the act, as Lantry mirrored him on the opposite side of the box. It was a gesture the Orange knew all too well.Despite outshooting the Cavaliers, SU was shutout for the first time this season. Its offense is creating chances but not getting results. That’s something the Orange is still striving for.“We were pretty good again today … we’ve got a talented group of players,” McIntyre said. “There’s a difference between being talented and a good team.” Facebook Twitter Google+ Three weeks ago against Hofstra, Tajon Buchanan’s goal with two minutes left in the game gave the Orange the lead for good. It prompted a backflip celebration by the sophomore, who played to the lively crowd after a career-best showing.On Friday against No. 22 Virginia, with three minutes left in the first half, the roles were reversed. Kennedy Nwabia’s goal gave the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead and turned the SU crowd silent, punctuated by a cartwheel and backflip by Nwabia in front of Syracuse’s bench.A second goal followed five minutes after halftime, putting the Orange down 2-0. After a slow first half, Syracuse attempted shot after shot in the second. But every time, one way or another, the ball missed its target. While SU totaled 10 shots total and put five on goal, UVA (4-0-2, 1-0-1 Atlantic Coast) attempted seven with only two on target. Unfortunately for the Orange (3-3-0, 0-2-0), both found the back of the net. SU’s winless drought in the ACC continued at more than 700 days.“It was the same versus Notre Dame, it’s our problem right now,” said SU midfielder Hugo Delhommelle. “We have the chances, we have the opportunities. That’s what we’ve been missing in this one and this season: finishing opportunities.”SU played the Cavaliers even for the first 42 minutes, matching the No. 22-ranked team in the country in possession. While UVA managed more shots, the Orange had put an attempt on goal. That is, until Joe Bell lined up for a free kick from 40 yards out along the right sideline. It was far enough that SU didn’t have to worry about Bell scoring himself — but the Orange failed to check his teammate, Nwabia.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNwabia rose above the line of SU defenders and managed to get a piece of the ball on a header, albeit weakly. The ball bounced once a few yards in front of the net, near the right goalpost. SU goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert appeared to have a bead on it, diving to his left to close the gap between him and the post.But by the time the ball took its second bounce, it was past Hilpert. After a stalemate for nearly the whole first half, the Orange was down in the one category it couldn’t afford to be.“I thought we were resilient in the first half,” head coach Ian McIntyre said. “To concede right before halftime, that’s difficult to take.”From the start of the second half it was clear that Syracuse was more aggressive. It kept the ball on Virginia’s side of the field for the first five minutes before a Delhommelle free kick was spoiled by the wind. Then, just like that, the switch was briefly flipped. Much like the first half when the Cavaliers scored despite not controlling the game, UVA suddenly found the back of the net again.On Virginia’s first trip back down field after Delhommelle’s kick sailed high, the Cavaliers converted. A service from the right side of the field to the six-yard box found the foot of Nathaniel Crofts for a goal, this time much more convincingly than the first. Instead of a mishit header from across the net just past Hilpert, Crofts deflected the ball into the left side of the goal past the German goalie before he could react.Ryan Raposo nearly cut the Cavaliers’ lead in half a minute later when he found himself seemingly open in the box, though a UVA defender cleared the pass intended for him at the last moment. The Orange continued its controlling possession in Virginia’s half but couldn’t earn anything to show for it.“We knew he had to keep doing what we were doing to get chances,” Raposo said. “Just unlucky to not put them away.”last_img