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Syracuse’s improved set pieces lead to 1-0 victory over Connecticut

first_img Comments As Massimo Ferrin prepared to take a free kick just a few strides away from the right corner flag, he gazed into the penalty area. On Saturday against No. 18 North Carolina, the senior provided the service for SU’s first headed goal from a set piece all season, courtesy of Sondre Norheim. With 20 minutes remaining in the first half on Tuesday night, Ferrin aimed for the 6-foot-4 junior once again.Ferrin fizzed the ball into the box and Norheim found it, but the junior’s header was cleared off the line by Connecticut’s Jake Dengler. Later in the second half, Ferrin nearly set up another headed goal as SU center back Dylan McDonald rose above everybody and directed his effort inches wide of the left post. The Orange’s set piece woes, which up to that point included 83 corner kicks without a goal on the season, looked to remain.Nine minutes into the second half, Ferrin and Norheim combined once again to end that streak. This time, Ferrin whipped the ball into the near post, where Norheim met it and drilled it into the bottom left corner. “It’s hard to mark when you get into a good position and the ball is placed right there,” Norheim said. “(Ferrin) knows where different guys are going to run, where we’re going to end up. He knew I was going to end up in that position.”The junior’s second goal in as many games lifted Syracuse (5-3-4, 1-2-2 Atlantic Coast) past Connecticut (4-8-1, 1-2 American), 1-0, in the Orange’s first match at SU Soccer Stadium since Sept. 27. The victory maintains SU’s undefeated home record and marks its third shutout of the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s about attacking the ball,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said about set pieces. “We could have had a couple tonight. With Dylan, with Sondre, with Nyal (Higgins), we’ve got some dangerous options.”Within a quarter-hour, Syracuse had already won two corners thanks to its high press on the Huskies’ backline and goalkeeper. Each time, Ferrin trotted to the corner flag and assumed the position to take the kick. Instead of delivering the ball to where the Orange’s defenders could try and get a head on it, Ferrin opted to play the ball short. First, he tapped it to Ryan Raposo, who played Julio Fulcar through for a closer crossing opportunity. Fulcar’s service dribbled right at UConn’s first defender, who cleared it upfield. Less than two minutes later, Ferrin tried another short corner, but the resulting cross from Raposo came nowhere near an orange jersey. “We thought that they were really letting us play, almost daring us to,” Ferrin said about the decision to play short corner kicks. “Later, we wanted to whip a few in. Second half, I put a good ball in and Sondre went up and put it in.”After its first two tries, the Orange avoided the short corner tactic for the rest of the game. They recorded eight more corner kicks, six of which Ferrin sent into the penalty area. Those led to four shots, including Norheim’s goal.“Free kicks around the box and corner kicks have always been something I have loved to do,” Ferrin said. “Nyal, Dylan, Sondre, you give these guys 50-50 balls and they’re going to win them the majority of the time. It’s all about the quality of the service.”Each practice, the Orange dedicate time to taking corner kicks and free kicks around the penalty area. While SU does practice specific plays, the emphasis is on repetition for both the kick-taker and those in the box, McIntyre said. Matt Orr dominated set pieces to start the season, but Ferrin has assumed the role as the Orange’s primary taker.On Syracuse’s goal, Ferrin knew exactly where Norheim was going to be, but it was up to the striker to provide a quality cross. So many times this season, the execution on corner kicks has not been there, whether it be an inaccurate cross, a mistimed header or strong defense by the opposition. On Tuesday night, the Orange finally got one in“We tried a variety of different corners tonight,” McIntyre said. “It was a simple one that was put into a dangerous area, and Sondre went and got it.” Published on October 15, 2019 at 11:07 pm Contact David: [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more