CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 22/-- Syracuse men’s soccer team took the early lead, but a pair of second-half goals by No. 2/2 North Carolina gave the Tar Heels a 2-1 victory against the Orange on Saturday, Oct. 10 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The loss snaps Syracuse’s five-match winning streak.
North Carolina (10-0-1, 5-0-0) controlled much of the first 10 minutes before Syracuse (8-3-1, 2-2-1) was able to maintain possession in its offensive end. The Orange’s pressure led to a corner kick in the 23rd minute. Junior Oyvind Alseth (Trondheim, Norway) played the ball high to redshirt junior Liam Callahan (Amherst, N.Y.) who served the ball into the box. His pass connected with freshman Miles Robinson (Arlington, Mass.) and his header into the back of the net gave Syracuse a 1-0 lead. The goal was the first the Tar Heels had allowed in more than 200 minutes of action.
Alseth’s play nearly led to a second goal, but his shot was stopped by North Carolina goalkeeper James Pyle. A Tar Heel defender was there to knock the rebound away before junior Chris Nanco (Brampton, Ontario) could get there for a shot. North Carolina recorded five shots in the first half, many off free kicks, but could get only one on frame. Conversely, the Orange put five of its seven shots on goal.
Syracuse had the better scoring chances to begin the second half, including a shot that went just wide by sophomore Julian Buescher (Duelmen, Germany) on a give-and-go with junior Ben Polk (Banbury, UK). The Tar Heels scored the equalizer in the 74th minute. The ball was played around the box before Tucker Hume scored on an assist from Alan Winn.
Both goalkeepers came up with big saves to keep the game tied. Syracuse freshman Hendrik Hilpert (Eiterfeld, Germany) made back-to-back saves on hard shots by Hume before Pyle stopped a close-range shot by senior Noah Rhynhart (Albany, N.Y.). After Pyle’s save, North Carolina responded on the other end with game-winner. Syracuse was unable to clear the ball out of its defensive end, giving the Tar Heels possession. Alex Olofson took advantage and put his shot from 18 yards out in the back of the net to give North Carolina the lead for good.
“Overall I’m extremely proud of our effort and our character tonight,” said Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre. “I thought we were magnificent. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get that second goal against a talented team. At this level you get punished when you don’t take advantage of your chances and two late goals were the difference.”
North Carolina held a slight 12-11 advantage in shots and earned six corner kicks to two for the Orange. Hilpert finished with four saves, while Pyle had seven.
After playing three of four on the road, Syracuse starts a four-game homestand on Tuesday, Oct. 13 when it hosts Bowling Green at 7 p.m. at the SU Soccer Stadium.
1st 2nd Final
Syracuse 1 0 1
North Carolina 0 2 2
SU 22:02 Miles Robinson (Oyvind Alseth, Liam Callahan)
UNC 73:44 Tucker Hume (Alan Winn)\
UNC 82:32 Alex Olofson
Shots: North Carolina 12, Syracuse 11
Corner Kicks: North Carolina 6, Syracuse 2
Saves: Syracuse 4 (Hendrik Hilpert), North Carolina 7 (James Pyle)
-- SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: NEW YORK’S COLLEGE TEAM --