first_imgAdrien Cabon robbed Tajon Buchanan of a clearing opportunity and advanced the ball back into SU’s third. The Louisville midfielder then dished off to another forward, who quickly slid the ball once more to an unmarked Walker Andriot, who fired a shot to the bottom of the right of the net. SU goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert bailed out his team with a diving save. Moments later off a set piece, Syracuse wasn’t so lucky.Cody Cochran sat in the six-yard box just outside the Syracuse goal, open for the incoming cross. The ball bounced off his chest, onto his foot and he flicked the ball under the crossbar, erasing Syracuse’s early one goal lead.“I think for 99 percent of the game we are where we should be,” SU goalkeeper Hilpert said. “For 99 percent of the game we are where we were last year. But especially when you play at the ACC level, you cannot give away one percent.”At the time of the Cochran’s goal, Syracuse (5-6-2, 0-4-1 Atlantic Coast) was ranked seventh in the country and had yet to suffer a loss. In its last seven games, including Louisville, Syracuse has won just one. The unranked Orange allowed two goals in four of those matches, sinking to 116th in the nation in goals against average at 1.324 a game. Last season, Syracuse’s goals against average was half of what it is now, but that team had the best start in program history. The current team doesn’t have a win in the ACC. Mistakes in its own third are becoming the deciding factor in a season that is quickly slipping away from the Orange.“You get exposed for your individual and collective mistakes,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. “I think there’s no room for error and right now we are getting punished when we turn the ball over in bad spots.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Andy Mendes | Digital Design Editor Most of the time, it starts with a bad touch by a Syracuse player. On Sept. 22 against Duke, the ball bounced backward off the head of Syracuse defender Djimon Johnson, plopping down in front of the SU net for Duke’s leading goal scorer, Brian White. He finished the ball past a diving Hilpert. Despite tripling Duke in shots, mistakes in its own end plagued Syracuse in a loss.In its most recent defeat, against North Carolina State, McIntyre said his team conceded “a couple of soft ones.” For the first goal, Julius Duchscherer drifted into the Syracuse penalty area as orange jerseys retreated following a turnover at the midfield. He passed the ball over to fellow forward Ade Taiwo who shot on Hilpert. The first save bounced free and Duchscherer sent the loose ball to nylon.The second goal came off Duchscherer’s foot again. This time, he gained possession on a pass from a teammate fresh off a steal. Streaking unchallenged from the midfield, Duchscherer unloaded on a lonely Hilpert. The mistake handed SU its fifth straight loss at home, its most consecutive home losses since 2009.“Something we need to improve on in the back is communication,” said sophomore captain Mo Adams on Oct. 2 ahead of Syracuse’s loss to Akron.  “For us it’s having that balance of when to go long and when to start playing (forward) because you’ll get punished if you lose the ball in your own third.”Adams, Hilpert, junior forward Jonathan Hagman and sophomore midfielder Jan Breitenmoser all agree, it’s individual mistakes costing their team. The players vary while the magnitude of their mistakes remain equally costly. With four games left in the regular season, Syracuse’s six losses are the most it’s had since 2013, the program’s first season in the ACC.“These are correctable (mistakes),” McIntrye said. “When that happens, we’ll start winning soccer matches.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img

Mistakes in the defensive third proving costly for Syracuse in losing streak

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