No. 1 Wake Forest defeats Syracuse, 1-0, after failing to win last 2 seasons

first_imgWake Forest junior Machop Chol raced down the right side of Syracuse’s penalty box before playing a ball across the center of the penalty area.Defender Dylan McDonald slid in for the block but was too late. Midfielder Simon Triantafillou tried to stop the ball with his outstretched foot, but he couldn’t. Demon Deacons’ striker Justin McMaster was all alone at the far post. As easy as his finish was to give Wake Forest the win, the Orange made life difficult for the nation’s No. 1 team the entire evening.One quality run behind SU’s defense, pass and finish proved the difference as No. 1 Wake Forest (6-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) defeated Syracuse (2-2-3, 0-1-1 ACC), 1-0, on Saturday night in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Orange had been a difficult foe for the WFU the past two seasons when the Orange played them to a draw in 2017 and beat WFU 2-0 in 2018. “You’re on the road against an elite team, you’re going to absorb pressure,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “We worked extremely hard, I thought the front three and midfield block were excellent, we really limited their chances.”Outside of what McIntyre said was a 10-to-15 minute stretch where SU was under heavy pressure, SU’s effective and selective pressing and solid defending kept Wake Forest out of dangerous areas.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen starting goalkeeper Christian Miesch was called into action, he made the necessary saves, including one in the 87th minute when McMaster was in on goal at the top of the box. Miesch kept the Orange in the game with a diving save in the 51st minute and another routine save on a swirling long-range shot in the 84th minute. SU probed the WFU defense, but never broke through. senior Massimo Ferrin’s late free kick whipped into the waiting arms of Wake Forest goalie Andrew Pannenberg. Once SU went down, McIntyre opted to pull off Ferrin and midfielder Ryan Raposo, giving them one final rest and instructions before putting both on with striker Luther Archimede for the final minutes. “I wanted to get them a breather,” McIntyre said. “We left it all out there. They had a couple chances in the last minute in transition once we were throwing everything forward.”The Orange switched their formation, McIntyre said, and he wanted to inform them of the switch. Archimede and Ferrin tried to hold up the ball and spark counterattacks the entire night. They created half chances, but never had one the moment like WFU had earlier in the half to grab the lead. When midfielder Julio Fulcar received a pass 12 yards from goal, he was unable to bring it down to his feet without an incidental strike of his hand, nullifying the chance. In total, the Orange produced eight shots, but just one on goal and only two in the second half.“It’s how you then go and support those front guys,” McIntyre said. “If I was going to be critical of one thing, our final pass could have been a little bit sharper tonight.”SU sent more numbers forward late, but never generated a high-quality scoring chance. The best opportunity came for Archimede, whose left-footed shot in the final minutes skidded wide of Pannenberg’s post.Wake Forest’s defending pair of Michael DeShields and Nico Benalcazar shut down most of Syracuse’s attacks before they entered the penalty box, and while the Orange were mostly successful in negating the Demon Deacons’ attacks in the opening frame, one  cross won Wake Forest the game.“Our back four really limited their chances,” McIntyre said. “We out connected passes, just that final delivery and final pass selection was not quite good enough. I think we went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the nation.”The Orange will now travel to Colgate next to take on the Raiders on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.  Comments Published on September 21, 2019 at 10:45 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more