Syracuse dominates possession in 2-0 victory over Pittsburgh

first_img Published on October 5, 2012 at 1:55 am Contact Josh: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Head coach Phil Wheddon shook his head and gritted his teeth. He asked the official how he could have missed an obvious foul. He told his Syracuse players they were “unlucky” for the through balls that went a bit too far.Jackie Firenze shook her head, showing her disappointment after a few misplaced passes. Jenna Rickan hit the crossbar. Firenze hit a post as well.A frustrating night ended in relief for the Orange (8-4-2, 5-1-1 Big East) as the team defeated Pittsburgh 2-0 in front of 338 at SU Soccer Stadium. Freshmen Erin Simon and Firenze scored for the Orange in support of goalkeeper Brittany Anghel’s fourth shutout of the season. SU’s offense outshot the Panthers 22-5 and won the possession battle but looked tired and irritated during the game.“I actually said to the fourth official, ‘this is one of those games where you outshoot the opponent and they come away with a one-nil victory because you mess up at the back,’” Wheddon said.Syracuse earned its eighth victory of the season with three games to play, surpassing its total of seven in 2011.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“That’s massive,” Wheddon said. “…We haven’t been able to put together three or four consistent performances at home and I think we’ve done that and I’m really pleased.”But Thursday night’s victory wasn’t flawless.Rickan’s shot off the crossbar came twenty minutes into the match, as the SU team peppered Panthers goalkeeper Nicole D’agostino with shots from beyond the 18-yard box. Wheddon and the team noticed the Panthers defense dropping its back four every time the Orange gained possession.Syracuse had time to create and shoot. Rosina Callisto took several shot attempts from far out, but they all sailed either wide or high above the cage.“I thought our shooting was actually pretty poor,” Wheddon said. “We had what, 20 shots? Very few were on target. You wouldn’t think that we worked on finishing all week. I’m glad we put two away in the second half, but honestly it could have been more.”Callisto agreed.“There was a lot of space, so we tried to take the shots that we saw,” she said. “Unfortunately we were forcing it a little bit too much. So as the course of the game went on we started to connect more up top and it ended up resulting in two goals.”Going into halftime, SU had 14 shots compared to just three for Pitt.It wasn’t until the 77th minute that Simon finally broke through. After a controversial no-call on Pitt, Callisto fired another long-distance shot. A rebound bounced to Simon, whose shot edged the crossbar and bounced downwards into the net.“Erin is one of those players that’s a nightmare to play against,” Wheddon said. “She’s just like one of those energizer bunnies that doesn’t stop running, doesn’t stop moving and hustling.”Wheddon stuck with Firenze even though, as he said, she struggled with connecting passes. The move paid off as the midfielder scored on a chip shot with just over five minutes remaining, sealing the victory for the Orange.“Performance wasn’t so great from me tonight, but I am happy that I finished with a goal and that’s a good thing for the team,” Firenze said.Though Firenze and SU certainly didn’t play their best soccer, the final result is all that matters for a program on the rise.“I know that this is a team that’s going to work through no matter what, and that’s shown,” Firenze said. “Once we start winning we don’t give up, and I think that quality of our team is going to help us really go far.” Commentslast_img

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