Wet conditions cause lack of offense in No. 3 Syracuse men’s soccer’s scoreless tie with No. 4 North Carolina

first_imgTwo of the country’s premier offenses met head-to-head Friday, yet neither produced any sort of offensive fire. Syracuse boasts the most-balanced attack in the conference. North Carolina is second, and had scored nine goals in its last two games.But steady mist created slick playing conditions, which led to a scoreless match that lasted 110 minutes and spanned regulation and two overtime periods. A couple of moments of heavier rainfall made passing — let alone scoring — difficult for the top 5 teams.It was a game masked in turnovers, few long runs and virtually zero offensive flow. Neither No. 3 Syracuse (8-1-1, 2-1-1 Atlantic Coast) nor No. 4 North Carolina (7-1-1, 3-0-1) scored in the double-overtime stalemate Friday night at SU Soccer Stadium. They combined for only seven shots on goal.Tony D. Curtis | Staff PhotographerAdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I say finally,” Syracuse midfielder Mo Adams said. “This weather reminds me of England … But in these kinds of conditions, it’s difficult to get the ball down in play, and you have to be careful.”Adams, who hails from England, is used to wet conditions. But this was Syracuse’s first wet match of the season, and it happened to come against one of the country’s best defenses — one that has allowed only four goals through nine games.The conditions helped both defenses. Players dribbling the ball skidded on runs, falling to the side or having to dish the ball away early. Passes were far from crisp.There were few give-and-go duos and breakaways were rare. Instead the wet grass bred sloppy play, sometimes forcing weak passes or extra cautiousness that halted any chance of scoring.Syracuse and UNC on several occasions settled for a safer play, getting the ball behind the defense rather than advancing at a quick pace.“It’s always difficult for defenders that worked hard to try and turn the ball over,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. “Connecting passes was hard.”With less than a minute left in the first half, SU freshman forward Johannes Pieles headed a ball, then fell flat on his face. Later, he crouched to one knee when receiving a pass around midfield. It made him more stable and accurate with his reception and dish.Syracuse senior defender Louis Cross ran toward the UNC sideline in aggressive pursuit before slipping into mud. Just about every player turned the ball over or fell, leading to a slowed offense or turnover.To his amusement, Sergio Camargo accidentally did a split.Players wore soft ground cleats, as they do for all games in the rain. But the cleats only helped to a certain extent.About 20 minutes in, an opposing player stepped on Kenny Lassiter’s right toe amid a scramble. Lassiter, a redshirt junior forward, exited the game — his second start of the year. He did not reenter.Lassiter came back onto the field about seven minutes into the second half on crutches, but Syracuse associate head coach Jukka Masalin said he has only a swelled up right foot and should be back for Tuesday’s game.“It makes it a dangerous game,” Camargo said of the slick conditions. “Especially the way we like to play today, out of the back with our defenders coming up. But we almost couldn’t do that today because they were pressuring us so hard and the rain was coming down a lot, making the ground slick.” Comments Published on October 1, 2016 at 1:32 am Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img