Syracuse squanders opportunities in Final 4 loss to Clemson

first_img Published on December 11, 2015 at 11:37 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Related Stories Syracuse’s season ends with national semifinal loss to Clemson in penalty kicks Facebook Twitter Google+center_img KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Chris Nanco had one of Syracuse’s last chances on his foot in the first overtime. He cut up toward the net as Oyvind Alseth’s through ball and Clemson goalie Andrew Tarbell were on pace to meet each other.Instead, Nanco lifted the ball with one touch, nicking the top of Tarbell’s torso as it bounded away and out of danger. Syracuse had more chances — Alseth put a shot wide right and Kamal Miller boomed one over the net — but none on net. And maybe none as great as Nanco’s.“We created chances tonight,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “On another night we score a goal, maybe two.”The 5-foot-6 forward’s shot was accompanied by 14 others in total and another seven on goal. Not one landed in the back of the net. Tarbell made eight saves against Syracuse on all eight shots on goal.No. 6 seed SU (16-5-4, 3-4-2 Atlantic Coast) drew No. 2 seed Clemson (17-2-4, 6-1-2), 0-0, in regulation of its NCAA semifinals matchup, but dropped the game in penalty kicks. The Tigers made all four of their penalty kicks after a 110-minute slugfest with SU. The Orange missed two of its three, to drop the game, 4-1. Clemson advanced to face the winner of Akron and Stanford in the national championship game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We had our chances, but credit to their goalkeeper, he played well,” midfielder Juuso Pasanen said. “That’s the game of soccer. Sometimes it just doesn’t go in.”Late in the second half, a ball was headed backward out of Clemson’s box. Ben Polk brought it to his foot and raced into the left side of the penalty area for a one-on-one opportunity against Tarbell. He blasted it off Tarbell’s chest.Nanco corralled the rebound and tried a rabona, when the leg that kicks the ball is wrapped around the plant foot, with his right foot. Tarbell saved it easily.“That’s one you don’t even think about,” Tarbell said of Polk’s shot. “That has to be instinctual. Just come out and stand there and make yourself big and hope it catches a piece of you, which it did.”Earlier in the second half, Alseth had a chance to avenge his mistake against Clemson when the teams met the first time on Oct. 17. Clemson forward Kyle Murphy had stolen the ball off of his foot after Alseth whiffed on a kick. Murphy buried a one-on-one chance against SU goalie Hendrik Hilpert to win the game with less than a minute on the clock.Forward Julian Buescher had slipped him a pass to the right on Friday, where defenders had played loosely on Alseth. The SU midfielder had a decent chance waiting for him, but he mishit it instead and the ball rolled across the 18-yard box. Alseth locked his hands on the back of his head.“It’s always frustrating when you get chances and opportunities like that and it doesn’t turn out your way,” Nanco said.Toward the beginning of the season, missed chances had plagued Syracuse. In its first two games, the Orange unleashed 19 shots, scoring just one goal in each of those games. Once Ben Polk came back from an injury, many of those problems seemed to dissipate.But as Syracuse tried to continue a historic season, the problem reared its ugly head again. In the postseason, the Syracuse defense had allowed no goals or one goal in each game. Against Clemson, it produced more of the same.“The chances were coming,” Nanco said. “I just had to keep moving and look forward to the next one.”After Nanco missed the last opportunity of the game, he stood in place, tilting his head back in agony. This time, there were no more chances to look forward to. Commentslast_img

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