Syracuse doesn’t finish chances in season-ending loss to Akron

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Only McIntyre and Delhommelle were made available for comment after the game.SU’s offense pressured the net and looked to overwhelm the Zips. John-Austin Ricks kickstarted the effort in the third minute when he picked off a cross-field pass and launched a pass down the wing to a streaking Tajon Buchanan. On that ensuing possession, crosses were whipped into the penalty box at Akron goalkeeper Ben Lundt.In their last meeting, passes and shots rattled off Lundt like a backboard which led to easy scores. Jonathan Hagman, who scored thrice in Ohio earlier this season, tallied three shots but no goals. Lundt squeezed the plastic on Sunday, however, recording saves and limiting rebound shots. SU forwards kept attacking.A Delhommelle shot, one of his season-high five, was flicked backwards and over the bar. Simon Triantafillou tracked down the ball at his feet after a corner was parried out of the box. His shot flew high. Each almost-goal drew applause from the crowd, but it didn’t affect the scoreboard in the left corner of the stadium.When Syracuse was threatened, it responded. After Akron’s David Egbo nearly scored in the first half, SU executed a series of short passes down its left wing. The momentum built before reaching a crescendo in the form of a weak dribbler from Buchanan’s right boot to Lundt’s gloves.Sondre Norheim’s yellow card in the 35th minute birthed a spell of possession for Akron near the SU net. Two minutes later, Abdi Mohamed netted a pass from Egbo and gave the Zips a 1-0 lead. Led by substitute Ferrin, Syracuse nearly scored on its following trip down the pitch. But Hagman curled a pass-back wide of its target.SU finally broke through late in the first half as Ferrin settled a through-ball from Hagman and slotted one past Lundt. Ferrin’s goal was a hopeful sign of goals to come, Delhommelle said. The Orange saw the validation of its gameplan and felt confident the win was obtainable.“We started the game excellently,” McIntyre said. “…We caused them problems. The game opened up.”The second half started in a similar path. Norheim headed a corner into the body of an Akron defender. Hagman had a shot blocked and another miss high. Midfielder Julio Fulcar caught Buchanan sprinting past a flat-footed backline — Syracuse’s best chance of the game and emblematic of its offense all season — and watched as SU’s leading scorer skied the ball over the bar.Two minutes later, Mohamed had a doorstep shot saved and Marcel Zajac knocked it in to give the Zips an advantage only present on the scoreboard.Following the score, SU widened its formation. It knew Akron would keep pressing, McIntyre said, and it believed it could sneak its forwards behind the defense. Syracuse couldn’t, though, and Morgan Hackworth’s goal in the 81st minute doubled the margin.By then, it was too late for the Orange even though it still controlled possession and still managed shots. Full-on sprints by Syracuse players turned into jogs in the game’s final seconds. When the final buzzer sounded, Hagman dropped to the turf in tears. The clock had run out.“What did (Akron) do differently?” McIntyre started before pausing, his voice lost in the cold. “Look, we created chances today. We took our chances. We probably had as many in the last game against them and we scored three. Today was a little bit unfortunate.”After the game, McIntyre led the team towards the stands for SU’s customary post-game thank you to the supporters. McIntyre clapped his hands and shook his head at multiple Orange-clad fans. His team trailed behind him. They were slower to walk across the field one last time, knowing they hadn’t done enough. Comments HAMILTON, N.Y. —After his last post-game huddle in a Syracuse jersey, Hugo Delhommelle walked around the turf aimlessly. Snow fell and rested in bunches atop his hair. His eyes darted from goal-to-goal and then to the ground before he jogged to the locker room. He was done searching for the ball to bounce SU’s way. He was done searching for elusive goals that hadn’t come.Delhommelle, like Syracuse’s season, was finished.“I’ll be honest, I really thought we had (Akron),” Delhommelle said postgame. “… I think we should’ve scored more goals. It didn’t happen.”Sixteenth-seeded Syracuse (7-7-4, 1-4-3 Atlantic Coast)) fell short against Akron (11-6-2, 1-2-1 Mid American), 3-1, in the second round of the NCAA tournament under a snow flurry at Beyer-Small ‘76 Field. Due to weather the game moved to Colgate’s campus 24 hours ago, though the environment didn’t limit SU’s shot creation. It managed 18-plus shots for the seventh time this season. Massimo Ferrin equalized late in the first half to knot the game at one goal apiece. And the Orange enacted the same game plan it perfected in last month’s win against the Zips. But on Sunday afternoon, the missed opportunities — the volleys mis-hit, the tap-ins pushed wide — cost Syracuse in its biggest game of the season.After it averaged more than three goals a contest in a five-game stretch in early-October, SU scored just five times in its last 490 minutes of soccer. Its latest disappointment prevented the Orange from reaching the third-round in its fourth-straight tournament appearance. Akron’s defense wasn’t abnormally stout. Syracuse just wasn’t good enough.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We just needed someone to get on the end of things,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “It was a good finish by Massimo, we just needed a little bit more quality in the final third. If we get that, this could’ve been a different result today.”MORE COVERAGE:Syracuse eliminated from NCAA tournament without the answer it neededTakeaways from Syracuse’s season-ending loss to Akron Published on November 18, 2018 at 6:34 pm Contact Nick: | @nick_a_alvarezlast_img read more