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Arturo Ordoñez was looking for somebody to pass to as Syracuse defender Giona Leibold sprinted toward him. From the top right side of the attacking half and with under two minutes left to play in double overtime, the Panther defender saw teammate Alexander Dexter in the bottom left corner. Ordoñez lofted a high, long pass over the head of Orange defender Christian Curti and into Dexter’s possession.
Dexter moved into the box and fired a cross to Valentin Noel, who wasn’t able to score but was able to draw a corner. Pitt forward Bertin Jacquesson took the corner and curled it just enough for freshman midfielder Guilherme Feitosa to score the game-winner off a header. Feitosa sprinted away, took off his shirt and waved it around as his teammates celebrated his first-ever collegiate goal.
There were several chances for the Panthers to capitalize throughout the two overtime periods. But the Orange, like in regulation, were able to stay in the game despite being outshot 15-8. This was achieved through contesting every ball and the return of Deandre Kerr. However, the game-winning attack, corner and goal catalyzed by Ordoñez’s long pass to Dexter proved too much for unranked Syracuse (5-5-1, 1-3-0 Atlantic Coast), who fell to No. 16 Pittsburgh (6-3-0, 3-1-0 Atlantic Coast), 3-2.
In the first three minutes of the game, the Orange controlled possession with play almost entirely taking place on the Panthers’ side of the field. Pitt was unable to respond to SU’s 4-5-1 press. But the Panthers started to change the momentum of the game and counteract the press in the fourth minute when Ordoñez fired a long, low pass down the right side of the field, bringing the Panthers into the Orange’s defensive half for the first time. The chase for the ball became a sprinting match between Noel and Max Kent. But neither was able to gain possession and it rolled out for a Syracuse goal kick.
One minute later, the ball was back in Ordoñez’s control. He sent it downfield where Feitosa was set up for Pitt’s first chance of the night. From the top right corner of the box, Feitosa sent a shot that rolled lightly toward the net. But before goalkeeper Lucas Daunhauer could pick it up, Kent tried to clear the ball out of the box with his left foot. However, Panther Rodrigo Almeida was immediately there to stop Kent’s clearance and blast a shot into the net to give Pitt an early 1-0 lead.
After Almeida’s sixth goal of the season, the Panthers controlled possession and pace of play for the following twenty minutes. But there was once again a momentum shift when SU head coach Ian McIntyre subbed in forward Deandre Kerr. This was Kerr’s first game back from injury after being out since Sept. 6 in a 2-0 victory against Niagara.
When the sophomore was subbed in, the Pitt players turned their attention to him. Three minutes after the Kerr substitution, the Orange were on the attack with a throw down the right side. Kerr was standing in the box with three Panther defenders nearby. But all four players stood and watched Syracuse midfielder Hilli Goldhar dribble and weave his way through defenders into the right side of the box. Goldhar got a cross off his right foot into the middle of the box, where Noah Singelmann fired a header into the left side of the net. The header leveled the game at on. It was the first time Pitt conceded a goal in the first half since Oct. 10, 2020.
The equalizer set the tone for the remainder of the half. Possession between the two teams was less one-sided and more back-and-forth. The possession of the first half was 56% for the Panthers and 44% for the Orange, according to ESPN. The game grew more physical as well, with nearly every ball being contested, eventually ending with a combined 17 fouls at halftime. The second half followed suit, with the two teams being called for 16 fouls.
Both SU and Pitt created opportunities in the second half, but neither team was able to capitalize. The Orange had two separate breakaways off of steals and air battles that led to no scoring — Jeorgio Kocevski was involved in both of the plays. Six minutes into the subsequent half, Kocevski was able to move down the field with the ball after a steal. But the sophomore decided to shoot from outside the penalty box. The attempt flew over the crossbar. Seventeen minutes later, Kocevski had another opportunity off of a steal, but this time he lofted it wide.
The missed opportunities from Kocevski would come back to haunt SU in the 85th minute as Pitt had its third corner of the second half. From the left corner, Jacquesson curled a ball perfectly for Ordoñez who scored his second goal of the season off a header, giving the Panthers a late 2-1 lead.
Three minutes later, however, Manel Busquets netted the equalizer. After Christian Curti was able to keep the ball in Pitt’s defensive end with a 360-no-look pass, Busquets gained control of the ball at the top right corner of the box. He moved to his right where he was able to draw a foul inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick. This was the first penalty kick conceded by Pitt this season. Busquets sent the penalty shot to the right corner, while goalkeeper Nico Campuzano dived to the left corner, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime and double overtime, the Panthers controlled possession with high curling passes, shots and corners. It included a curling shot from outside the box from Almeida that just went over the crossbar and Daunhauer, culminating with the final shot of the game from Feitosa, giving the Orange their third one-goal loss in ACC play.
The post Syracuse falls to No. 16 Pittsburgh in double overtime, 3-2 appeared first on The Daily Orange.