Syracuse breaks out late to propel team to 3-0 win over St. John’s in final regular-season game

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon thought about what his team could take into the postseason after beating St. John’s Saturday in its final regular-season game.“The last 10 minutes,” he said. “Because if we play like that it doesn’t matter who we play; I don’t think they can stay with us.”A raucous crowd watched the Orange (9-6-2, 6-3-1 Big East) shut out the Red Storm (6-10-1, 2-7-1) 3-0, with all three goals coming in the first five and last five minutes of the game.“You beat a team down so much, they didn’t have anything left, and our second wave came out and we just dominated them, so it was awesome,” senior Jenna Rickan said.Junior goalkeeper Brittany Anghel recorded her 18th career shutout, just two shy of the SU all-time career shutouts record.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse scored early, but that would be all for a while.Senior Jasmine Watkins made a dazzling run with the ball and crossed it into the box to find freshman Erin Simon. She scored to put the Orange up 1-0 in the second minute.What followed was 75 minutes of physical, but uninspired soccer from Syracuse. The Orange struggled to finish on well-constructed plays against an inferior opponent.Senior Rosina Callisto said the team knew how physical St. John’s would play, and it had to include that in its game plan.“We basically just grouped together and said we need to move the ball quickly, we can’t hold on to it in the midfield,” Callisto said. “The longer you hold the ball, the easier it is to get hurt and get tackled.”It was clear Syracuse was the better team as St. John’s repeatedly let the Orange attack find a way into the box.But the inability to finish plagued the Orange, as it has much of the season, with the Orange squandering its opportunities.Leading scorer Alyscha Mottershead had a shot from within the box in the 18th minute, but pushed the ball over the crossbar.Rickan also had multiple headers in the box, but could not convert.The intensity picked up in the second half and the crowd got louder and louder as the game entered the final stretch.Mottershead found herself faced with another opportunity when the St. John’s keeper extended too far out of the box. But she was able to get a hand on Mottershead’s shot to push the ball wide of the goal in the 79th minute.Syracuse finally created some separation late in the game.Callisto scored in the 87th minute, and Mottershead did the same just moments later to put the game away for Syracuse. The team ran on the field to celebrate as the final whistle blew.“We had a lot of opportunities in the first and second half that we could’ve finished, but we’re happy; a win’s a win,” Rickan said.The game had a wild final few minutes, but it was fitting for Callisto.“It was a little more dramatic that it happened in the last three minutes, even though it took us a little bit longer to get into the game,” Callisto said. “But those last three minutes were just the minutes of my season, it just felt absolutely amazing.”Wheddon said it was a good win for his team, considering the offense broke through late and the defense preserved a shutout. Still, it wasn’t a perfect performance as his team approached the offseason.“Am I satisfied? No, because I think we could’ve played better,” Wheddon said. “For the first 80 minutes I thought we could’ve played better, the last 10 minutes we played our brand of soccer.” Comments Published on October 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm Contact Jack: [email protected]last_img

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