Syracuse offense struggles in 2-1 loss to Virginia Tech
Sam Ogozalek | Staff Writer
Sheridan Street was consoled by teammate Annette Cappellino, who wiped her teammate’s tears. Alex Lamontagne put her shirt over her face as she did her cool-down stretches.
SU had scored its first goal since Sept. 18 earlier in the game. Maddie Iozzi launched a corner kick into the top right corner of the goal box, looking for Alana O’Neill. Instead, Virginia Tech’s Laila Gray headed the ball past teammate Mandy McGlynn for an own goal, which tied the game at 1-1 in the 70th minute
And even though Syracuse got help from the Hokies, SU (7-5-2, 0-4-1) dropped its matchup with Virginia Tech (9-4-1, 1-3-1 ACC), 2-1, marking the Orange’s fourth loss in a row and 21 days since Syracuse last won a game.
“You can’t fault the level of conference play,” head coach Phil Wheddon said.
After a historic start, SU has stumbled through its conference slate, and it’s offense struggled once again. Within 15 minutes of the own goal, Virginia Tech scored again, pushing the game out of reach. Syracuse players walked off the field with their heads dropped after their loss Thursday night at SU Soccer Stadium.
“We need to relax and just take a breath,” Lamontagne said. “We need to make sure we focus on striking the ball and not anything else.”
The Hokies finished the first 45 minutes ahead 1-0 and outshot Syracuse 9-2. The Orange, however, had at least one solid chance. In the 43rd minute, Sydney Brackett found herself in a one-on-one situation with a Virginia Tech defender. Stephanie Skilton and Eva Gordon streaked to the net, but the two brought three Hokie defenders with them.
Instead of Brackett racing forward and taking a shot in her promising situation, she sent a poor cross behind the feet of Skilton, who was forced to stop her run to save the possession. She ultimately turned the ball over.
SU’s offense looked disorganized in the first half but came out in the second half with significantly more energy. Within the first 15 minutes of the second half, Syracuse recorded five shots and looked as if it would finally generate the momentum it’d been lacking.
In the 53rd minute, Alana O’Neill passed to a wide open Lamontagne in front of McGlynn, who was rushing to the edge of the box. Lamontagne kicked a left-footed roller underneath McGlynn. The Orange forward fell over McGlynn and rose to her knees to look as her ball traveled just wide to the left of the goal.
Sitting in the box on her knees, Lamtontagne dropped her head and covered her face with her shirt.
“I just didn’t get good contact on the ball, and I should’ve,” Lamontagne said. “I just miskicked it.”
Syracuse got opportunities during the half. Several through balls found their way to Syracuse forwards, who failed to put the ball in the back of the net. The Orange finished with 12 shots and were given the ball 15 times via Virginia Tech fouls.
“We’re getting opportunities,” Skilton said. “We just need to find the back of the net.”
Published on October 6, 2016 at 11:44 pm
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