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Syracuse utilizes 5-man midfield, fast play to top St. Mary’s 3-0

first_img Published on August 31, 2014 at 11:05 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ With six minutes left in the game, St. Mary’s (Calif.) midfielder Cory Schmidt pulled the trigger from 30 yards out, hitting the left post and sending Syracuse goalie Alex Bono diving in desperation.The threat on goal was an outlier in an otherwise lopsided game, though, as it was the Gaels’ only attempt on target in a match the Orange dominated from start to finish.Outshooting St. Mary’s 21-2, Syracuse (2-0) remained undefeated with a 3-0 victory over St. Mary’s (0-2) at SU Soccer Stadium on Sunday night. Utilizing its five-midfielder formation to constantly get forward and pester the Gaels’ back line, SU’s offensive effort complemented another shutout from its back three. “We really played at a high tempo, real good energy and enthusiasm,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “It’s nice for me to repeat myself to say 3-0 win, can’t really grumble. It was a good 90-minute performance from us tonight.”After Chris Nanco and Tyler Hilliard pressured the Gaels’ back four multiple times in the first several minutes, it was trickery from a set piece that put the hosts on the board less than 10 minutes in.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJulian Buescher and Jordan Murrell stood behind the ball 22 yards out to prepare to take a free kick. While the St. Mary’s wall was busy getting situated and not paying attention, Buescher fed a wide open Emil Ekblom to the right, who calmly slotted it home to give the Orange a 1-0 lead.The visitors didn’t stop there, as Juuso Pasanen had a would-be goal headed off the line by a defender and Ekblom saw a header of his own careen off the crossbar, both in the next 10 minutes.With five midfielders, the Orange was able to throw players forward in transition and create number advantages in the attacking third — which materialized in a host of early chances. “It definitely helps us out packing up the midfield,” Nanco said. “It helps us win balls and go forward and create chances, so I think it’s going to be good for us going forward.”SU extended its lead with just more than five minutes remaining in the half when Murrell lined up alone behind another free kick. On Friday against Niagara, Murrell had a free kick from the same spot curl just wide of the right post. This time he hit the post before the ball deflected off the back of diving St. Mary’s goalie Andre Rawls and into the net.“Any goal at home I’ll take, any goal whatsoever, even if it’s a tap-in,” Murrell said. “Even as a defender, trying to score goals to help the team out any way possible.”In the second half, it was Nanco who terrorized the Gaels’ back line.He repeatedly went right at the St. Mary’s right backs, often keeping them on skates before accelerating past them to put a chance on net or a cross in the box.Twelve minutes into the half, Nanco cut left and right four times down the left wing before finally taking the ball to the end line. He dribbled inside and after leaving a defender in his tracks, drew a foul in the box that Nick Perea then turned into a penalty kick goal.“From the beginning of the game our coaches told us their defensive line was not really that fast, so I tried to use my speed against them and it worked out,” Nanco said. “It’s a nice feeling to do that for the team and late in the game, we need to keep on putting the pedal to the metal.”Although McIntyre once again said the decisive cross could’ve been better, the second-straight three-goal victory with the 3-5-2 led the head coach to praise his team.“Systems are only as good as the players you have, and I thought we pressed the ball well,” McIntyre said. “Just that final pass and that little bit of quality and composure, but we were knocking on the door again tonight.” Commentslast_img read more