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The Syracuse women’s soccer team created more chances as the first half was nearing the end. In a half where neither team had many clear cut opportunities, the Orange began to mount a sustained attack on the Cardinals’ goal.
It started when Meghan Root drove from the right flank and switched the field after a few passes. The ball made its way to Stephanie deLaforcade, who fired a shot at the goalie and forced a good save. On the ensuing corner, Jenna Tivnan came close to scoring, but the Cardinals goalkeeper saved her well-placed header. Just two minutes later, a Tivnan shot from outside the box hit the post and landed at the feet of deLaforcade, who buried the chance only for it to be ruled offside.
The 10-minute stretch to close out the half was the closest the Orange (0-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) would come to scoring as Louisville (2-1, 2-1 ACC) topped Syracuse 3-0. All three of the Cardinals’ goals came in their own 10-minute stretch at the start of the second half.
After going into halftime having almost conceded, Louisville began targeting Syracuse’s left back, Alina Miagkova, a recent transfer from Central Michigan. The Cardinals’ first goal came just three minutes after the restart, as a cross from a corner sailed just over the hand of goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx and right to Jessica De Filippo, who poked the ball in.
Louisville’s two-time second-team All-American Emina Ekic then took over. Delaney Snyder drove past Miagkova on the flanks and crossed the ball to Ekic. With a smooth first touch, Ekic set herself up for a right-footed shot but faked it instead, sending two Orange defenders the wrong way in the process and rifling a shot bottom corner with her left foot.
To seal the game, Snyder and Ekic again combined to score for a third time against the Orange. Snyder picked up the ball on the right side of the field and drove inwards to the top of the box. She played a through ball right into the path of Ekic, who had beaten Miagkova with her pace and could only watch as Ekic hit another shot into the bottom corner to give Louisville a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinals kept the pressure up for the rest of the half but failed to add to their lead as they outshot the Orange 19 to four in the second half. Syracuse had entered halftime with more shots but failed to generate much offense in the second half. The Orange played the Cardinals to a stalemate in the first half, but in the end, it was another away loss for a Syracuse team that last won on the road in September 2018.
“I thought overall it was a tale of two halves. I’m really proud of the way our players played in the first half. It could have been a different game if we capitalized on the opportunities we created,” head coach Nicky Adams said. “We need to get better in the final third. I know this team will continue to fight and keep improving.”
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