MSOC : SU blows 2-goal lead, loses in OT to No. 11 South Florida

first_imgSyracuse was 1:43 away from an elusive signature win. But with one critical mistake, it all slipped away.SU held a lead with just under two minutes remaining in the game, when South Florida freshman midfielder Roberto Alterio took advantage of a missed clearing attempt by Orange defender Skylar Thomas. Alterio put the ball past SU goalkeeper Phil Boerger and sent the game into overtime.Thomas tried to kick the ball away from the goal but missed, and the ball stayed loose in the box. Alterio ran in from right in front of the cage and sent the ball into the lower right corner of the net, out of the reach of Boerger. The Bulls celebrated as if they had just won the game, not tied it.‘The surface was terrible. It was just unlucky,’ Boerger said. ‘Skylar played a good game, you can’t fault him there. Just unlucky.’In the fourth minute of overtime, South Florida’s leading scorer, Dom Dwyer, headed in the game-winning goal to give USF a comeback 3-2 victory over the Orange. And Syracuse (2-9-1, 0-4-1 Big East) was dealt another crushing defeat in front of 397 at the SU Soccer Stadium on Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe fact that the Orange was in complete command of the game for the entire first half only made the loss worse. Syracuse controlled possession against the No. 11 ranked Bulls (9-2-2, 4-0-1), but it all fell apart in the second half.The intensity the Orange played with in the first half didn’t carry over into the second stanza, and the Bulls started to attack more directly.After the game-tying goal, some of the Syracuse players stood around the box with their hands on their heads in shock, while others stared straight down at the ground with hands on hips.For one of the rare times this season, SU had a two-goal lead on an opponent. Both goals came from junior forward Louis Clark. But as the second half progressed, it all slipped away.‘Today, we got the start we wanted,’ senior midfielder Nick Roydhouse said. ‘We got the 2-0 lead. It was great. Everything was going the way we wanted.’SU also managed to limit Dwyer’s scoring opportunities by having both midfielder Nick Bibbs and Thomas mark him, while getting help when they needed it. Orange head coach Ian McIntyre said he didn’t want to just have one player try to stop the Bulls’ leading scorer.And it worked for a while, but not for long enough.In the 78th minute, Dwyer drew a foul in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. The junior found an opening at the left side of the net and Boerger couldn’t get to it, giving the Bulls their first goal of the game.After the game, McIntyre questioned the call and said he’d like to see the foul again on tape. Bibbs said the call was incorrect, considering he felt he had already been fouled and wasn’t given the call in SU’s favor.Either way, late-game defensive breakdowns plagued SU once gain.‘Breakdowns that shouldn’t have happened. Just simple mistakes,’ Bibbs said. ‘First of all, there never should’ve been a PK. I did foul the guy in the box, but it shouldn’t have gone to that point because the striker had fouled me before he even got me the ball to dribble at me.’Once the Bulls scored off that penalty kick, the momentum of the game clearly shifted in their direction. The Orange only had to keep USF from scoring for less than 13 minutes but couldn’t do it to hold on for the win.McIntyre said Syracuse started to play more to the clock than the game itself.‘A lot of times with our leads this season, we’ve kind of set off and let teams get on top of us,’ he said. ‘They had a good second half. They were on top of the game. We just tried to be smart, play good soccer, and it just didn’t pay off at the end.’By the time Dwyer headed home the game-winner in overtime, it was clear Syracuse gave the game away.The South Florida players had a celebratory pile at midfield after the game-winning goal. Once again, the Orange walked off the field defeated — still winless in conference play.‘To their credit, they were really up for it in the second half,’ Boerger said. ‘We just couldn’t close the game out.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemancenter_img Commentslast_img

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