CLS looks forward to big millennium growth

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No. 6 Syracuse ties No. 2 Wake Forest, 1-1, in last regular-season game

first_img Published on October 28, 2016 at 11:35 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 The shocks came one after the other: A screaming line-drive shot forcing Hendrik Hilpert to lay out for a save. Back-to-back corner kicks that almost resulted in headers inside the 6-yard box. Short passes penetrating the depleted Syracuse defense. Midway through the first half, Syracuse was down a goal to the nation’s No. 2 team and without its best defender.“Confused, shocked,” Kamal Miller said of Miles Robinson’s red card, which forced the sophomore defender to exit the game. “Nobody saw what really happened, but we just had to rally quickly.”Wake Forest more than doubled the Orange’s shot total in the first half, and in the game as a whole the Demon Deacons tallied 21 shots compared to SU’s six. Down a man for 105 minutes of play, No. 6 Syracuse (10-3-3, 3-2-3 Atlantic Coast) held on for a 1-1 tie against No. 2 Wake Forest (12-2-3, 5-1-2) Friday night in the team’s regular season finale at SU Soccer Stadium. Syracuse remains unbeaten at home this year and will play Wednesday in the first round of the ACC tournament.A win could have meant a first-round bye in the ACC tournament and a higher likelihood at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Despite the tie, SU’s performance further proved it has eschewed the play that plagued it during its four-game winless streak. The Orange has not lost in its last four matches, including three against top-15 teams.Three minutes into Friday’s game, Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre yelled “Defense!” several times. Two minutes later, SU lost its best defender. The loss put the Orange at a disadvantage, forcing players to sink deeper and play a stop-first game. Rather than attempting to pierce the nation’s No. 2 defense, SU sat back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“You practice a certain way all week,” McIntyre said, “and then within five minutes all of that hard work was kind of out the window.”Following Robinson’s removal, Jonathan Hagman and Oyvind Alseth dropped back to cover Jacori Hayes and Ian Harkes, WFU’s top threats. Miller, Louis Cross and John-Austin Ricks backed the SU defense. Mo Adams did not play because he collected his fifth yellow card of the season last week at Clemson.The moves took away much of Syracuse’s ability to attack, but limited the Demon Deacons. The defense’s only blemish came on a Jon Bakero 23rd minute goal. SU’s outlook looked bleak, considering WFU maintained possession for about 80 to 90 percent of the night, according to McIntyre’s and Alseth’s estimations.Twelve minutes later, Syracuse earned a free kick. Miller found  the loose ball and struck a ball that chopped into the net. The sophomore blew a kiss to the fans as teammates mobbed him. It was his fifth-career goal and second on the season.“Thank God Kamal was there at the right place, the right time” Alseth said. “Because we didn’t produce many chances, so it was good to capitalize on one of the few we had. If not, it could have been a rough night.”For the remainder of the game, Syracuse stayed back, disrupting run-lanes and spacing close to the 6-yard box. The tight look allowed WFU to dish passes for long possessions and center back-based play. SU players sunk down and played less of a man-to-man defense and clogged lanes.“Nanco, do Lassiter’s work,” McIntyre called out, referencing Chris Nanco’s defensive-minded play.Wake Forest outshot Syracuse, 14-3, in the second half after the 7-3 advantage in the first. If not for stops by Miller and a pair of layout saves by Hilpert, the Demon Deacons could have taken a first half lead.At the end of the first half, WFU’s Hayes pushed Thomas Menke near midfield. Hayes, frustrated at his teammate for missing an assignment, exchanged a few words with Menke. While it was a blip for WFU, it proved SU had done what it needed to do to preserve a tie.“They were magnificent tonight,” McIntyre said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more