Louisville has owned Syracuse under Ian McIntyre. The Orange tries to change that Friday.
Daily Orange File Photo
In his first seven seasons with Syracuse, head coach Ian McIntyre has 73 wins. None of them have come against Louisville.
“We know that we are going to have our hands full,” McIntyre said.
Last season SU fell at Louisville, 1-0. It was the fifth loss for the Orange against the Cardinals since McIntyre took the helm at SU in 2010. In seven games over that span, the Orange has mustered two draws and no victories while getting outscored 10-5. Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013, Syracuse has beaten every team except Louisville.
On Friday night, Syracuse (4-0-2, 0-0-1 ACC) will get another shot at its kryptonite when Louisville (3-1-1, 0-1-0) travels to SU Soccer Stadium, a venue at which SU has not lost since Oct. 17, 2015.
“We will play our game, the way we feel will play to our strengths,” Louisville head coach Ken Lolla said. “It’s not so much playing against their 3-5-2. It’s more can we extenuate what we do well?”
For eight seasons, Louisville has done that. SU’s last victory over the Cardinals predates not only its players but also its coach. Despite the fact that SU and UofL have played each other in every season, save for 2013, Syracuse’s last win against Louisville came in 2008, a 3-2 overtime decision at SU Soccer Stadium.
Andy Mendes | Digital Design Editor
The games have been close. Last year then-No. 3 Syracuse outshot then-No. 8 Louisville 11-6 before falling 1-0. The goal came 23 minutes into the match when Louisville forward Mohamed Thiaw dribbled by several SU defenders and chipped the ball over a charging Hendrik Hilpert. The SU goalkeeper did not face another shot that night while his counterpart saved five more, a majority in the second half.
“This was one of the teams I had in mind over the summer that I wanted to win against,” Hilpert said.
Last year’s lone goal scorer will be back again on Friday night. After not starting the first two games of the season due to a preseason injury, Thiaw is “full-go now,” Lolla said. He has started Louisville’s last two matches, punching in a goal on four shots over 154 minutes of play.
Last season, Thiaw finished second in the country with seven game-winning goals. He earned All-ACC honors with his 12 goals, second in the conference in scoring. Last year, Louisville finished with 14 wins, its second-highest mark in program history. This year’s team is off to a slower start, tying No. 19 Kentucky and losing by two goals to last year’s College Cup runner up No. 2 Wake Forest in its last two games
That won’t matter come Friday. In 2016, Syracuse was ranked five spots higher than Lousiville it still fell, 1-0. In 2015, Syracuse won the ACC title for the first time, it tied Louisville 1-1 earlier in that season. In 2014, Syracuse finished with its best record under McIntyre, 16-4-1. It lost twice to the Cardinals.
“They are very frustrating team to play against,” sophomore midfielder and team captain Mo Adams said. “I think we will do well against them this year. I don’t want to lose this game. I don’t think anyone in the locker room wants to lose this game.”
The goal each year is to beat Louisville. But for eight consecutive matches, the result hasn’t changed.
Published on September 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm