Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s season-ending loss to Akron

first_img Published on November 18, 2018 at 4:18 pm Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarez Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Too little, too lateAfter a header goal by Morgan Hackworth doubled Akron’s lead in the second half, Syracuse stared at a two-goal deficit in the waning moments of its season. Julio Fulcar and Kamal Miller picked the ball out of twine immediately after the score and pressed the team forward. “Maybe that’s your wake up call!” one fan hollered at SU after Akron’s third goal. SU sent as many as eight players in its offensive-third at one point. As time bled off the clock, more Orange passes intended for covered strikers bounced weakly out of any danger areas. A late shot by Raposo flew over the bar, and the crowd groaned. The Zips dropped back in as the defense absorbed pressure and Lundt paused before each goal kick or restart. Two door-step saves by Hilpert did little but keep the score respectable.It was Syracuse’s third multi-goal deficit in its last four games and again, it couldn’t overcome the widening-gap on the scoreboard. 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. The clock had run out. HAMILTON, N.Y. — 16th-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 underneath a snow flurry at Beyer-Small ‘76 Field on Sunday afternoon. A win would’ve marked the fourth tournament appearance in a row for Syracuse in which it made the third round. Instead, the Zips won their sixth-straight. In a season where Syracuse struggled to win close matches, Akron took advantage. Here are three takeaways from the season-ending loss. Transfer MarketBoth goal-scorers in the opening frame were transfers in their first year with a new program. In the 37th minute, Akron’s Abdi Mohamed capitalized on the Zips’ mounting offense. A Sondre Norheim yellow-card kept the ball in Akron’s offensive-third. Moments later, Akron’s leading-scorer David Egbo slid a pass to Mohamed, an Ohio State-transfer, who smashed the ball into the open net. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFour minutes later, Massimo Ferrin settled a pass from Jonathan Hagman down Syracuse’s left wing. A defender on his back, Ferrin sped into the box and slotted a shot past Akron keeper Ben Lundt. Ferrin, a transfer from Alabama-Birmingham, recorded 10 points in the regular season. He developed his role within the offense — he’s an alternative to playmakers Hugo Delhommelle or Ryan Raposo — and maximized his opportunity off the bench in SU’s biggest game of the year. Rust-lessPlaying in its first game in 18 days, Syracuse didn’t show signs of rust against Akron. SU tallied 12 shots in the first half, one more than the Zips, and utilized a crafty midfield and dominated possession. The attempts were a sign of an executed Orange gameplan. In the team’s earlier contest this season — a 3-1 victory on Oct. 1 — pressure on the offensive end allowed Hagman to record the lone hat-trick of his career. Multiple SU players said they planned to follow a similar plan of attack on Sunday. For the most part, they did. Forwards Tajon Buchanan and Raposo spent most of the first half darting forward and behind the Zips’ backline. SU’s midfield skied through balls and even the Orange backline got involved on the offensive end. Syracuse’s first goal sequence started as Hagman dispossessed an Akron defender who corralled a goal kick. Immediately after, Hagman found Ferrin down the wing who notched an equalizer. The tactic continued in the second-half. It nearly resulted in a goal early in the half as Raposo whipped a cross in front of Akron’s box to a streaking Buchanan and defender Jan Breitenmoser. While the pass rolled to the sidelines, an SU fan motioned his arms forward as if to will more orange-and-blue checkered jerseys across midfield. last_img

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