Korab Syla’s injury stalls Syracuse offense in 1-1 tie with Louisville

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 12, 2015 at 12:17 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Korab Syla sat on the field with his knees to his chest, eight minutes left in the first half. He shifted onto his back and trainers examined his leg. After a few minutes, Syla limped from the far side of the field to the sideline, grimacing slightly with a hamstring injury.“It’s a very big loss,” Syracuse defender Liam Callahan said. “… For him to go out was a little bit of a shot to us.”Syla was playing the most aggressive he had all season, pushing the ball down the sideline and stretching the field for an Orange team that was running a 4-3-3 formation instead of its normal 3-5-2. After Syla’s injury, however, the offense stalled and could never find the back of the net as the Orange tied No. 23 Louisville, 1-1, at SU Soccer Stadium on Friday.“You can’t explain to a new guy what an ACC game is,” head coach Ian McIntyre said. “It’s an absolute war. It’s a battle. … We’ll be a better team because of tonight.“That’s a point won tonight, not two points lost.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPlaying with four defenders matches up better with Louisville’s three forwards than Syracuse’s usual backline of three players, McIntyre said. With Louisville expecting a 3-5-2, Syracuse was hoping to catch it off guard, defender Louis Cross said.Just eight minutes into the game, Oyvind Alseth poked the ball forward past a defender to Julian Buescher, who one touched it back to Alseth as he ran into the box. Alseth fired a low shot to the right of that net that tipped off Louisville goalie Nick Jeffs’ gloves and found the back of the net.Alseth held his right fist in the air as he ran up to the fans sitting to the right of the net on the hill.“When you get that goal early in the game you get a little momentum,” Callahan said.Syla was carrying the ball through the midfield and pushing it forward down the sideline, using his speed to run past defenders. He sent crosses into the box and was able to set up offensive chances.But then he went down near the end of the first half and minutes later Louisville tied the game.Cardinals midfielder Tim Kubel sent a corner kick into the box from the left side. A crowd of players, including SU goalie Austin Aviza, knocked the ball into the air and right to Louisville midfielder Daniel Johnson. He kicked a bouncing shot to the right side of the net that beat a sliding Callahan with just 1:03 left in the half.“We played a very average game,” Alseth said. “We started off well, but weren’t able to keep it up after the goal so that’s disappointing.”Before the start of the second half, Syla jogged along the sideline, testing his leg. But he didn’t come back out to start the half or come in for the rest of the game.Without Syla to move the ball down the sideline, the Orange chipped through balls down the field and constantly sent passes for Ben Polk, Chris Nanco or Noah Rhynhart. Andreas Jenssen even came in, moving Alseth over to right wing.Without Syla to dribble the ball down the field, the Orange launched through balls for the forwards to run to, occasionally leading to corner kicks.“Both teams were not really playing good soccer,” Alseth said. “A lot of long balls. Pretty much just a big fight out there.”The crowd stomped on the bleachers with every Syracuse corner kick. And when Juuso Pasanen’s shot scraped the netting the 2,237-person crowd erupted into cheers. They thought he had scored, but Pasanen’s shot hit the outside of the net.He and Alseth put their heads in their hands.For the last 65 minutes of the game, no one scored. Syracuse managed the lone shot of the two overtime periods. The Orange lacked the spark that Syla was providing early in the game and could never find the game-winning goal. Commentslast_img read more