Men's Soccer

Syracuse cruises to 3-0 win over UMass

Luke Rafferty | Video Editor

Juuso Pasanen and the Orange knocked off the Minutemen 3-0 on Wednesday night at SU Soccer Stadium.

Speed kills, and Massachusetts was the victim Wednesday night.

“We have a lot of speed up front and try to use it a lot,” Syracuse midfielder Nick Perea said. “We always tell (the forwards) to out run players and use their pace, so that helped. I think we did very well tonight.”

Utilizing its superior swiftness to its advantage, the Orange (6-2-0, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) had no problems cruising past Massachusetts (0-8-1) to a 3-0 victory on Wednesday before an SU Soccer Stadium crowd of 593. The Minutemen could not keep up with the SU attack, and Syracuse extended its winning streak to three games.

UMass came in having scored just three goals thus far this season, but the Orange didn’t take the Minutemen lightly.

“They made life very difficult, and we knew that coming in,” said head coach Ian McIntyre. “This was a potential — coaching cliché — banana skin, and I was proud of the way that the guys approached this game and ultimately found a way.”

Because the Minutemen defended with plenty of man-to-man coverage, the Orange “dragged” them around the field, McIntyre said. Once Syracuse broke the Minutemen’s initial press, space opened up and SU was able to bring the ball into the attacking third and create opportunities.

Syracuse’s offense had some chances early, but it was unable to score in the first 30 minutes.

Alex Halis ran down a pass in the corner seven minutes in, but his cross was ahead of Emil Ekblom. Chris Nanco flew by the Minutemen’s back line down the left wing soon after, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Nick Ruiz. Halis sprinted past UMass’ Danny Belza into the open field, but couldn’t corral a pass from Ekblom.

Twenty-two minutes in, the game was still scoreless — but Syracuse was on the verge of breaking through.

After Ruiz guessed correctly in making the stop on Perea’s penalty kick in the 24th minute, the SU midfielder got his goal seven minutes later. Off a corner kick from Jordan Murrell, Perea nodded the ball inside the right post to put Syracuse ahead.

“We were very fluid up front, practiced our set pieces yesterday and we did well,” midfielder Stefanos Stamoulacatos said.

The Orange struck again with just more than two minutes remaining in the half, when UMass’ Josh Jess whiffed on a clear attempt in the box. Stamoulacatos was there waiting and drilled the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Out of the half, Syracuse converted on another set piece goal when Juuso Pasanen headed in his first-career goal off a cross from Murrell. Not even three minutes into the second frame and the Orange had given itself a three-goal cushion.

From there, the Orange coasted. Nanco and Stamoulacatos easily executed their one-touch passes to maneuver around the exhausted Minutemen and into the attacking third, where the Orange had a handful of open looks in the second half.

None of them went in, but McIntyre was more than satisfied.

“As the game wore on, we created some chances tonight,” he said. “On another night, we probably do get a fourth. Got to be happy.

“I’m proud of the way the guys applied themselves tonight and ultimately, job done.”


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