SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Dartmouth men’s soccer team fell to eighth-seeded Syracuse, 3-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, in Syracuse, New York.
The Big Green end their season with a 9-5-5 mark, while the Orange improve to 12-3-4 and will advance to the third round where they will play the winner of North Carolina and Florida Golf Coast next weekend at the home field of the highest-seeded team.
Both teams had to contend with blustery conditions as Sunday’s match was moved up two hours due to an impending winter storm in the Syracuse area. Despite the conditions, the Orange were able to score two goals in the first half en route to the victory. Syracuse outshot Dartmouth 13-7, while the Green held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
“Credit to Syracuse, we knew they were going to be a good team, said Bobby Clark Head Coach of Men’s Soccer, Chad Riley. “They figured out a way to get goals and good luck to them moving on.”
In the seventh minute, the Orange’s leading scorer Chris Nanco scored his seventh tally of the season when he beat Big Green senior goalkeeper, James Hickok to his left side for the first goal of the game. Hickok made five saves in his final game of his career.
Dartmouth tried to climb back into the contest with a header by Eduvie Ikoba that was saved, before Justin Donawa ripped a hard shot in the box that just went wide. In the 23rd minute, Syracuse added to its lead when Sergio Camargo scored on a pass from Johannes Pieles to make it two-goal game.
After the halftime break, the team’s returned to field as the snow and the wind picked up in intensity for the final stanza. Donawa had a decent scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half, forcing the Syracuse keeper to come out and make a save. In the 59th minute, Camargo added his second tally of the game when he beat Hickok to the near post, to give the Orange a commanding, 3-0 lead.
The Big Green continued to battle throughout the second half, but could not find the back of the net, as playing conditions on the field got worse as by the game’s conclusion.
“Anytime you’re not sure about the field it takes a lot of the midfield stuff out,” Riley said. “It’s a question of how much time can you spend in your attacking third and how little time can you let them spend in your defensive third. There won’t be as many combinations in the middle and you’ll take more of a direct route to the goal.”