SU allows 5 goals, falls to Siena in McIntyre’s coaching debut

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 With an ice bag pressed to the side of his head, Robbie Hughes trudged across the field. Seventy-five yards. Then back again. On the heels of Wednesday’s 5-1 blowout loss to Siena and with a ‘little bump’ — actually the size of a ping pong ball — sticking out of his head, the Syracuse freshman defender looked gassed. ‘After the final whistle tonight we wipe the slate clean, and we go again,’ he said. ‘And we work hard.’ The sooner the Orange can wipe the slate clean, the better. Players and coaches have a lot of goals to erase from their minds.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Not since 2003 had SU allowed an opponent to score five goals in a game, and unfortunately for new head coach Ian McIntyre, it happened in his debut. Syracuse (0-1-0) dropped its 2010 season opener Wednesday night to Siena in front of 1,231 spectators at SU soccer stadium. The Saints (1-0-0) scored three of their five goals on set pieces and took advantage of an inexperienced Syracuse lineup that is still searching for the right combination ‘We started seven new guys,’ McIntyre said. ‘I think we played over 10 new guys. A lot of them made their collegiate debuts. But that’s not an excuse, and we don’t want to use that as an excuse.’ McIntyre doesn’t want Wednesday’s result labeled a product of new faces in new places, but that might be the problem. Twenty of the 30 players on SU’s roster are new to the program this season, and 11 of those saw playing time. Siena took advantage early of a defensive unit that hasn’t seen much time on the field together. The Saints got on the board just five minutes into the game on a header by Falko Friedrichs off of a corner kick. Friedrichs was all alone at the six-yard box with no Orange defenders around. Siena’s second goal was much the same. Just minutes before the half, Friedrichs headed in another after, connecting with a flip throw from teammate Joey Tavernese. Again Friedrichs found himself alone in front of the goal. Two instances of miscommunication by the Orange defense. Two goals for the Saints. ‘I think a little bit of naivety and some poor defending cost us ultimately,’ McIntyre said. After the half, SU came out with energy and dominated the opening minutes. The increased pressure on the Saints defense led to a goal from freshman Brett Jankouskas in the 49th minute, after a cheeky back-heel pass by sophomore midfielder Mawuena Agbossoumonde. But the shaky SU defense would be exposed again. This time by speed. Siena striker Emery Welshman, the fastest player on the field, scored two goals and an assist, all in the second half. Welshman got in behind the Orange defense twice in the second half, resulting in two Saints goals. ‘He’s one of those guys that when we play the ball up to him and he turns, we can’t get there to support him because he’s so quick,’ Siena head coach Gareth Elliott said. ‘He definitely has some jets.’ SU’s team isn’t at full strength. Defender Konrad Andersson tore his meniscus and midfielder Nick Roydhouse, who was All-MAC second team in 2009, was suspended. ‘There were a couple of guys that we expected to play (for Syracuse) that didn’t play,’ Elliott said. ‘… It’s very difficult if coach McIntyre doesn’t know his strongest starting 11 right now because, then, we’re not going to know the strongest starting 11.’ In addition, the Orange is still toying with its formation. Tonight’s lineup came out in a flexible 4-3-3 alignment from defense to forward. But Hughes admitted the number of attackers and midfielders still isn’t set in stone. The Orange may use different lineups in hopes of finding a unit that clicks by the time Big East play gets underway on Sept. 25. Despite Wednesday, McIntyre has time. ‘We’ve got a lot of faces that we’re trying to work out,’ he said ‘… I think a little bit of naivety and some poor defending cost us ultimately.’ [email protected]center_img Commentslast_img

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