Published on September 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Opportunity after opportunity was created. Some seemed perfect. Goals probably should have been scored. But they all missed, including perhaps the Syracuse men’s soccer team’s clearest chance at a goal, thanks to Nick Roydhouse. The minute-long buildup reflected the entire 110 minutes. When it was over, the lost chances yielded a 0-0 tie for SU (1-4-2) against Pittsburgh (4-2-1). But even though it was one point rather than three, for Orange head coach Ian McIntyre, it was an important point against a winning team. ‘The way things went out, that was a good point,’ McIntyre said. On that clear scoring chance, SU defender Jakob Karlgren streaked to the corner, tearing down the left side of the field, only to encounter two Pittsburgh defenders at the end line. With some fancy footwork, Karlgren was past the defenders on the inside. He crossed the ball straight back through the middle of the box, where SU midfielder Roydhouse was perfectly positioned. Roydhouse wound up, but rocketed the ball right off the crossbar. That’s how the game went for the Orange. An SU team that has had trouble making chances for itself ended up creating those opportunities, putting pressure on its Big East rival all game. SU was unable to find the back of the net, but Syracuse felt the final score was slightly better than the tie indicated. The game demonstrated Syracuse can compete with teams that have better records. What’s more, the team earned that point within its Big East division.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘We’ll at least be second (in the division),’ McIntyre said. ‘There’s a long way to go, but this will give the guys a lot of heart. Because sometimes, it’s not going to be pretty. But if we can work and get that result, good things can happen.’ With the single point awarded for the tie, the Orange is now in second place in the Red Division, with three teams tied for first. Already, conference play has proven to be highly competitive. The game was back and forth with each defense taking a pounding. Orange goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo is in charge of regulating the game speed as much as possible. He can either distribute the ball quickly for a fast counterattack or hold on to the ball to give the players a chance to slow down. Saturday, he held on to the ball. ‘A lot of times, we had been under pressure for a while, for a couple of minutes,’ Vuolo said. ‘They had really been hitting us for a while, so I’ll intentionally take as much time as I can. Let the guys get a breath, relax, step up and then kick it. Just give them time to calm down and relax a little bit.’ Although Roydhouse said he was happy to get a chance to catch his breath, especially as the game went into overtime, he was hardly relaxed. Particularly going into the second half, he took it upon himself to energize his teammates. His preferred method of inspiration turned out to be verbal altercations with any Panther who looked at him the wrong way. Roydhouse was not carded, but he did manage to discuss proper soccer etiquette with two or three different members of the Pittsburgh team, while simultaneously tugging shirts and bumping shoulders. ‘I thought we lacked a little bit of character in the first half,’ McIntyre said. ‘So we needed a spark, and we needed some kind of energy out there, and Roydhouse brings that.’ This energy was effective. Syracuse had only two shots in the first half, but finished the game with 12. It was the second most the team has had all season. Pittsburgh got the better of the Orange, with 22 shots, yet Vuolo said he was never concerned. ‘Opportunities are going to come few and far between,’ Vuolo said. ‘In terms of creating more, 12 shots in a game is excellent. … In terms of that stat, we’re not bothered. Twelve shots is great for us.’ Vuolo’s positive attitude is a testament to how pleased the team was with the opportunities it was creating. All that’s left is getting the ball in the back of the net. Roydhouse knows what the offense needs to do. Now the team just has to do it. ‘If we get the ball in behind them, that’s when we look good,’ Roydhouse said. ‘That’s when we create chances.’ firstname.lastname@example.org Comments
The women’s top seed continued the defence of her title with an emphatic semi-final victory over Elena Vesnina this afternoon.Williams dropped lost just two games on her way to a 6-2 6-0 win.