Defensive breakdowns in 2nd half cost Orange in loss to Washington

first_img Published on August 27, 2012 at 1:32 am Contact Josh: [email protected] Allowing set plays to enter the box close to the Syracuse goal was the Achilles’ heel for the Orange on Sunday. SU allowed two Washington second-half goals on shots from inside the box.Syracuse sophomore forward Alexis Koval scored at the 26:24 mark of the first half as the team outshot the Huskies 7-2 early on. Despite strong play throughout the game, two defensive lapses in the second half resulted in two Huskies goals in the Orange’s 2-1 loss.“They served a lot more dangerous balls into the box,” head coach Phil Wheddon said. “Our marking on both goals was poor. The goal was open at the back post on one of them. We’ve got to do a better job at being more organized.”Syracuse’s defensive shape remained steady despite coming off two overtime matches, one on Friday against Albany. Wheddon said after Friday’s game he was worried about the team’s energy level for Sunday, but he said it wasn’t a lack of stamina that led to Washington’s goals.“I was worried that they were going to be tired, but I thought we battled,” Wheddon said. “I thought our defenders were fantastic for the most part. …They battled through everything. I was really, really impressed with them.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWheddon said he was particularly pleased with junior defenders Rachel Blum and defender Jackie Moriarty. The pair, along with midfielder Rosina Callisto, broke up numerous WU attempts to get the ball into their offensive zone, especially early in the second half.Like in Friday’s match against Albany, forward Hanna Strong came into the game after 25 minutes and had an immediate effect. Strong got her foot on a ball and sent a pass to midfielder Jackie Firenze. Firenze then sent a lead pass over the top of the defense to Koval, who created enough space to fire a shot into the net.Syracuse’s midfield has kept up its high level of play through the team’s first three games of the season. The midfielders are creating numerous scoring opportunities, whether it’s the starters or the substitutes. Strong and freshmen forwards Maya Pitts and Erin Simon have all made contributions off the bench.While the offense couldn’t find the back of the net, the defense and goalkeeping kept the team in the game.Anghel turned aside the two shots she faced in the first half, highlighted by a spectacular save on Washington forward Brittany Archer from point-blank range.Like Friday, Syracuse could not hold its lead. Washington’s Stine Schoening received a pass from Jaclyn Softli and beat Anghel with a shot 18 minutes into the second half. Anghel robbed WU’s Sami Page on the doorstep moments later.Eleven minutes later, WU’s Lindsay Elston found Isabel Farrell open near the back post. Farrell put a shot past Anghel, putting the Huskies in front 2-1.“I think we kept our shape, and it really just came down to set pieces and staying with our marks in the box,” Koval said. “We just have to work on defensive free kicks and marking in the box. I feel like we can take this game and grow from it. We didn’t do badly with our possession or even with our defensive shape, so it can only go up from here.”SU looks to correct its defensive lapses Friday at St. Bonaventure, where the natural grass surface of McGraw-Jennings Field may cause difficulties for the SU players.“I thought for the most part we did a very, very good job at creating opportunities. Again, we outshot them and had more opportunities off of set pieces than they did,” Wheddon said. “Unfortunately, they scored on a set piece. Our marking in the box wasn’t the best, so that let us down.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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