June 23, 2021

Syracuse breaks through late in 2-1 overtime win over Miami

first_img Published on October 23, 2015 at 12:15 am Contact Matt: [email protected] Syracuse spent all night waiting for something to happen. It had seen balls deflected off the crossbar, touches taken too wide, poorly executed one-on-ones and shots swallowed up and poked away up by Miami goalkeeper Catalina Perez, who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.Staring down its 11th loss and five minutes away from blinking, the Orange needed a big play, and it finally got it from the senior captain.Jackie Firenze punched in the tying goal with five minutes remaining to send the game into overtime and Alex Lamontagne snuck a a shot by Perez just 34 seconds into the second overtime period as Syracuse (6-10-1, 2-6 Atlantic Coast) battled back from behind to defeat Miami (5-10, 2-6) 2-1 Thursday night at SU Soccer Stadium.“You can’t always be perfect,” Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon said. “(But) I thought the players put themselves in the position to do well.”For much of the second half, the Orange looked to be falling back on familiar habits. Scoring opportunities arose in abundance, but SU wasn’t able to convert.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFirenze’s corner kick just minutes into the game hit the top of the crossbar and bounced harmlessly onto the back of the net.Midway through the first half, Syracuse’s Eva Gordon, with two Miami players flanked on her side, gathered a bouncing ball in front of the box with a clean look at the net and hit the it high out of bounds. She turned around slowly and walked away with her hands on her head.“I felt that we were doing enough to win the game,” Wheddon said. “ … we felt that we were gonna get one.”But even after increasing its offensive pressure in the second half, Syracuse still didn’t have the results to show for it.Gordon fired a shot from well outside the box in the 53rd minute that climbed the ladder toward the upper left-hand corner of the goal before Perez lunged up to punch it away.And with 14 minutes remaining, Sheridan Street bent over to deliver a pass that met a streaking Alexis Koval. The only thing in front of Koval was the wet grass and Perez, but the forward took a bad touch and the ball went sliding all the way to the endline.“I think what happens sometimes is the conditions,” Wheddon said. “As the evening wore on it’s late, it’s very very slick.”Still, the pressure set the stage for the goal that helped rewrite the script. Gordon got a ball in the box and put a dribble-move on the defender before dumping the ball back to Firenze.But there wasn’t much of a celebration. While her teammates ran back to their positions on the other side of the field, the senior was the only one who jogged over to the Syracuse bench to exchange high-fives. Her facial expression remained unchanged, and Firenze later noted that SU had said they weren’t coming off the field unless they got the win.“We’ve been through similar situations and we know how it feels to lose,” Firenze said. “And we had the opportunity to feel the other side of it … It was a do or die sort of thing.”The momentum carried, and in a season that has seen a wealth of wasted opportunities, Syracuse made sure this one didn’t get away.The Orange held Miami at bay in the first overtime period, and just seconds after the public address announcer called the start of the second overtime, Lamontagne gathered a through-ball from Stephanie Skilton and snaked her way into the box, threading a shot past Perez and into the back of the net.Five minutes away from a loss, Syracuse had secured a win just 15 minutes later.“We needed perseverance,” Lamontagne said. “We needed that final goal, we needed that final shot. We kept pushing.”After the game, the Syracuse coaches and players lingered around the benches.Firenze, whose game-tying goal was her first of the season, approached Wheddon with a smile and was met with a hug and a whisper in the ear.“He just said it was about time I scored a goal,” Firenze said. “He’s right … it felt good.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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