Sam Maller | Staff PhotographerMen's Soccer
Syracuse hoping to bounce back following disappointing defeat
Ted Cribley felt different after Syracuse fell to Cal State Fullerton last Sunday.
He was disappointed in the end result — a 3-1 loss that ended a four-game winning streak. But unlike last year’s abysmal three-win season, the senior midfielder could sense that the disappointment wouldn’t carry over into SU’s next game.
“That’s what makes this team different,” Cribley said. “Last year we’d let a goal in and hang our heads about it. This year we’re always looking ahead.”
Cribley said Syracuse (6-2) will have a short memory as it begins its conference schedule this weekend. The team will look to bounce back against Seton Hall at SU Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The 2011 Orange struggled to halt its losing streaks, posting slides of two, three and five games as it finished 3-12-1.
Cribley said it was tough for SU to play with confidence during those streaks. The senior midfielder pointed to last year’s loss to South Florida in October as one that snowballed into multiple defeats last season.
Coming off a crushing, one-goal home loss to St. John’s, the Orange led then-No. 11 South Florida by two goals in the 78th minute. And despite the team’s poor win-loss record, Cribley thought that upsetting the Bulls could’ve propelled SU to the Big East tournament.
“We gave up two goals in regulation and another in extra time,” Cribley said. “That was the real moment where you can point to and say we didn’t pick ourselves back up. We let a goal in and we hung our heads about it and lost.”
SU went on to lose the next game against Rutgers in similar fashion before dropping two of its final three games.
The team last lost on Aug. 31 — a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Niagara. And against the Purple Eagles, the Orange scored late to make the game interesting.
Syracuse wasn’t demoralized by that result — a departure from its mindset last season. McIntyre said the team played with “something to prove” following the Niagara game and steamrolled Colgate 6-0.
“As a coach, you love to see that,” McIntyre said. “I think we realized that we’re a good squad and that we can put a loss like that behind us just by playing up to our capabilities.”
SU’s fast start proves it’s in position to accomplish more than it has in any other season under McIntyre. As the Big East schedule rolls around, the head coach and his team will need to put losses behind them to make their first Big East tournament since 2005.
That can start with another bounce back against Seton Hall on Saturday.
The Big East boasts six Top-25 teams, including No. 2 Connecticut and No. 4 Notre Dame. Seton Hall is unranked, but senior midfielder Mark Brode said the conference is “too deep” to expect SU to keep up its early-season pace.
When losses come, though, Brode thinks the team has what it takes to minimize the damage and prevent losing streaks.
“We know we can play better than we played against Cal (State Fullerton),” Brode said. “And more importantly, we know that after a bad game, we can restart and get back to playing our brand of SU soccer.”
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