Syracuse advances to 2nd round of NCAA tournament with 3-2 comeback win over Rhode Island

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Hilli Goldhar ran down the left flank and played a ground cross across the penalty area, which Luther Archimede lunged for. The Orange attacker was clipped and fell to the ground, writhing in pain.Minutes before, the referee hadn’t awarded a penalty on a perceived foul on Ryan Raposo, which shocked head coach Ian McIntyre and most of SU Soccer Stadium. This time, there was no hesitation as the official pointed to the penalty spot.Since the start of postseason play, Syracuse has practiced penalty kicks at the end of every full practice. Each outfield player takes one penalty, rotating one by one. It’s preparation for the postseason, where Syracuse would potentially need penalty shootouts to advance if the Orange remained tied. When Archimede was brought down, Massimo Ferrin wasn’t on the pitch, and there was no doubt who would take the game’s most important kick. Raposo fired the ball into the bottom left corner. Syracuse (8-6-5, 2-4-2 Atlantic Coast) didn’t need another overtime or a penalty shootout. The Orange won 3-2 against Rhode Island (14-4-3, 7-1 Atlantic 10), beating a Rams team that hadn’t lost since Sept. 28, unbeaten in 11 matches. McIntyre said the Orange would be “tested and stretched.” Yet even after conceding the opening goal, Syracuse responded twice in quick succession and Raposo’s (2 goals, 1 assist) late winner pushed them into the NCAA tournament’s second round and a matchup with St. John’s on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“That game could have gone either way,” McIntyre said. “Thankfully, in big moments, in big matches, you need big players, and we had that tonight.”URI’s Filippo Tamburini nearly scored in the seventh minute, when his header arrowed toward the bottom right corner before SU goalie Christian Miesch dove to his left and made a diving save. As Miesch received medical attention from the save — he’d stay in the game — McIntyre paced up and down the touchline in front of the Orange’s bench shouting “do your job” repeatedly. The Orange shifted away from McIntyre’s usual three center backs, playing a flat back four to counter URI’s attacking front four.As quickly as the Orange fell behind after a Tamburini header off a corner kick, the Orange answered with a set piece of their own. Raposo’s free kick curled to the far post, and Archimede was the first to get his head on it. His head deflected the ball down and into the goal after URI goalie Stefan Schmidt was able to deflect it, but not keep it out.“He’s been terrific, especially the last month,” McIntyre said of Archimede. “I thought he was the spark that we needed tonight.”Before Archimede entered, Syracuse assistant coach Sean Lawlor walked up to him with a stapled list of printouts in his hand. As Lawlor flipped through the pages, telling Archimede about restarts and how to get behind URI’s backline for aerial chances, SU’s freshman striker nodded his head. Archimede equalized on his first touch. He’d been on the pitch for less than 100 seconds, knotting the score at one.After Rhode Island’s defense stifled the Orange attack for most of the first half, a misplay from Niklas Middrup, who deflected the ball back toward his goal instead of clearing it up the pitch, sent Severin Soerlie in on goal. Soerlie had been in an offside position, but because of Middrup’s miskick, he was in legal position to play the ball. Schmidt ran out of his goal to cut down the angle, Soerlie calmly rolled a pass across the box to Raposo.Sophomore midfielder Ryan Raposo led SU to the second round of the NCAA tournament with two goals and an assist against URI. Elizabeth Billman | Asst. Photo EditorWith an open net, Raposo tallied his 14th and simplest goal of the season into the empty net. Syracuse had turned a 1-0 deficit into a lead entering the half, with a goal and assist coming from McIntyre’s substitutions once his starters generated little offense for 30 minutes.“Coach (McIntyre) has been getting on our case about getting in the box,” Raposo said. “I knew I had to make that run there and give him an option.”When Syracuse walked back onto the field after halftime, the Orange were in a familiar position.They’d been ahead before. They settled for a draw with Yale after leading 1-0. They settled again for another tie with New Hampshire after leading by two. Syracuse couldn’t hold onto a 1-0 lead against Pittsburgh, tying 1-1 and squandered an early lead against Boston College in a 2-1 loss. McIntyre hoped those experiences had prepared the Orange for this one, playing the nation’s toughest schedule — including each of the top four national seeds.The Orange again couldn’t preserve the lead, though. After a URI free kick, the Orange lost the next three headers, the last setting up Noam Kolakofsky with his back to goal. He turned and scored with Ferrin unable to hold him off.McIntyre stood on the touchline, hands in his pockets, silent, as the Rams celebrated at the near corner flag. “They’ve got a history of scoring a lot of goals on restarts and they’ve done that tonight,” McIntyre said. “The easy thing would have been for us to blow a lead, but we didn’t.”Only two players on the Syracuse roster were on the team the last time SU won an NCAA tournament game: midfielder John-Austin Ricks and backup goalie Jake Leahy. The Orange could’ve crumbled, as McIntyre said, but instead the Orange continued to send dangerous crosses into the penalty area.With six minutes to go, McIntyre shouted “Oh my goodness” after a conversation with an official when Raposo was pushed to the ground in the box, but didn’t earn a whistle. Raposo threw his hands in the air as the ball rolled across the box.McIntyre was furious. He didn’t get the first penalty he wanted then, but their luck changed when Archimede got taken down. Raposo’s kick ensured the Orange wouldn’t need their seventh overtime of the year, and preserved their season.“Goals change matches,” McIntyre said. “Thankfully, we scored the last one tonight.” Comments Published on November 21, 2019 at 9:20 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img

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