Soccer match against Syracuse is first Big East contest of season

Big East play gets underway for the men’s soccer team as they travel to face the Syracuse Orange on Saturday.

The Pirates will enter the matchup with a 4-4 record while Syracuse comes in with a 6-2 record.

“(It’s) just another game,” head coach Gerson Echeverry said. “It’s the Big East so it has a different meaning but I put the same importance in every game. We are just trying to win every game we play one at a time so we preparing the same.”

The Hall has some momentum coming into the game riding a two-game win streak and picking up their first road win of the season against Delaware on Wednesday. Syracuse comes into the game losing their last game 3-1 to Cal St. Fullerton.

The team was outscored 11-1 in their first two games away from home.

“Every win makes you a little more confident,” Echeverry said. “It’s all a matter of improving. Everything we have had to improve in starts at training and we have the right mentality, now we are seeing results. We have keep plugging away and hopefully more wins come out of that.”

Despite picking up the road win, Syracuse has been strong at home going 2-1 on their home pitch while outscoring their opponents 9-2.

Another problem that the Pirates will face against the Orange is their attack.

Syracuse is averaging 2.63 goals per game and has been extra potent in the second half with 14 of their 21 goals coming in the frame, while the Hall has been outscored 12-2 in the second half.

“We just have to play defense the whole game,” Echeverry said. “We can’t prepare for the second half because we don’t want to sit back during the first. We just have to put balls in the net and be very focused the whole night.”

Both teams will feature two of the best strikers in the conference as Syracuse’s junior Tony Asante and the Hall’s junior captain Max Garcia are tied atop the conference leaderboard with five goals this season.

The past few games Echeverry has liked what the team has been doing, but does not feel the team is as good as it can be.

“The team’s been improving greatly,” Echeverry said. “We just need to stop giving up goals and committing silly fouls. That will make us not chase in games and then we pull off victories.”

The last time these two teams faced the Hall did pull off the victory on the road in Syracuse as the Pirates got two second-half goals from Dritan Sela, to complete the hat trick, in a 3-1 victory to open up the 2009 conference play.

The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Syracuse’s soccer stadium.

Stephen Valenti can be reached at stephen.valenti@student.shu.edu

Author: Staff Writer

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