Men's Soccer

No. 7 Syracuse adjusts without usual personnel to edge Oregon State, 3-2, with late goal

Todd Michalek | Contributing Photographer

Without second-leading point-scorer Johannes Pieles, the Orange relied on unfamiliar faces to carry it on offense. Hugo Delhommelle (pictured) served the corner kick that led to SU's late-game heroics.

UPDATED: Sept. 13, 2017 at 12:22 a.m.

When a team leads the nation in red cards, it’s constantly forced to adjust. On Tuesday against Oregon State, carryover from red card trouble forced Syracuse to learn to play without its second-leading player in points.

No. 7 Syracuse (4-0-2, 0-0-1 Atlantic Coast) looked disjointed at times without Johannes Pieles, but SU’s offense adjusted to carry the team on a night when it was not its best. But, in the end, the Orange hit its magic number and beat Oregon State (2-4-0), 3-2, on Tuesday night at SU Soccer Stadium. The win is Syracuse’s 58th straight when scoring three goals, but this one didn’t come as clean as some of the others.

“We looked for stretches of the first half like it was a mid-week Tuesday game and we had just gotten out of biology lab,” said SU head coach Ian McIntyre.

With Pieles out, Petter Stangeland, a freshman forward from Norway, made his first career start. His inexperience showed. Stangeland held onto the ball too long.

Early in the first half, he had teammates offering help on either side, but he opted to challenge the defender himself. The take failed and Oregon State regained possession. Moments later, Stangeland found himself with no one but Oregon State goalkeeper Ryan Vincent in front of him. But, as the crowd perked up, the line judge raised his flag and the ball was given back to Oregon State.

That’s how much of the first half went for Syracuse. The offense, which averages over two goals per game, mustered one shot in the first half to Oregon State’s six.

“It was a very scrappy game,” sophomore midfielder Mo Adams said. “It wasn’t really a great soccer match.”

But then something clicked.

The field opened up and the Syracuse players who hadn’t previously seen much playing time began not to show it. It started with Mamadou Balde. The senior transfer, who hasn’t started a game since the second game of the season, gathered a loose ball at the top of the box. He faked left and then pressed right as the OSU defender slid to the ground. The two clanked ankles as the referee awarded Balde a penalty kick. Kamal Miller crushed the ball into the back right of the night for his first goal of the season, and, for SU, its first lead of the match.

“We started to move the ball faster, opened it up for each other and communicated more,” Balde said. “As our bodies warmed up we started to relax and pass it faster.”  

Stangeland found his footing as well. He played a deep volley from goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert through to Tajon Buchanan. The forward worked his way in before earning a corner kick. The first attempt was sent directly back at inserter Hugo Delhommelle. The second traveled near post before deflecting out of bounds off the foot of Syracuse defender John-Austin Ricks.

The result wasn’t important. The opportunity was one that didn’t come in a first half, where Syracuse failed to earn a corner kick. In the second half, it earned seven. On the final one, Delhommelle fired the ball near post once again. Ricks again deflected the ball, this time with his head and the ball bounced off an Oregon State defender for a corner-kick goal. It was Syracuse’s first of the season.

“Coach makes these changes for the team,” Adams said. “Not for individuals to have their spark in the game. To kind of be compact and get the result and that’s what we did.”

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Mo Adams’ position was misstated. Adams is a midfielder. The Daily Orange regrets this error.

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