Syracuse looks to avenge regular-season loss in ACC tournament semifinals matchup with Louisville

first_img Published on November 13, 2014 at 12:19 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse wasn’t shy about the fact that it wanted Louisville.After the Orange defeated Duke in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Sunday, the attention quickly turned to exacting revenge on its most disappointing loss of the season.“I’d love to play them again,” junior goalkeeper Alex Bono said. “Neutral site. Went down a man down there, unfortunately, right or wrong. I’d love to get back after them and get some re-venge.“Just going out there and seeing those red jerseys and walking all over them.”In its best season in program history, Syracuse’s biggest blemish came on Oct. 17, when it lost at Louisville after relenting a one-goal advantage. Cardinals midfielder Tim Kubel tied the game on a penalty kick and SU’s Alex Halis was ejected after receiving a controversial second yellow card with just more than four minutes to play.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith the Orange down a man, Louisville’s Jerry Ramirez scored off a free kick six minutes into overtime and then-No. 2 SU’s eight-game winning streak was over. The No. 1 Orange (15-2-1, 5-2-1 ACC), though, has a chance to redeem itself when it travels to Cary, North Carolina to face the sixth-seeded Cardinals (9-6-3, 4-3-1) in the semifinals of the ACC tournament at 8 p.m. on Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park.“Right after we played them down there, we realized we’d hopefully have another chance to play,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “I’m sure they’re as excited to play us as we are to play them.”After Halis was whistled for pushing another player from behind in the 86th minute of SU’s eventual loss, the home crowd of 3,367 immediately started yelling before referee Ted Unkel gave Halis a second yellow card, despite there not being much contact, backup goalkeeper Matt Stith said.SU right wing Oyvind Alseth said that moment demoralized SU, and a team that works constant-ly on defensive set pieces conceded a goal on one just six minutes into overtime.“It wasn’t just the result. It was the morale and the way we played,” Alseth said. “Letting that goal was pretty disappointing. I think the team got over it pretty quickly. The most important thing is how you react to losses, and we haven’t lost since then.”Its loss to Louisville wasn’t a game that highlighted Syracuse’s weaknesses, it was an anomaly in a season where seemingly every break has gone SU’s way. Six of its first 13 games had been 1-0 wins, and when the Orange jumped out to that advantage in the 55th minute, there was no reason to think the game would be any different.“Yes and no,” midfielder Stefanos Stamoulacatos said when asked if he wished the Orange could have that game back. “Everything happens for a reason. We’re playing them now in the final four, I think we’re going to come up on top this time.”McIntyre jokingly said he owed the ACC an apology for robbing the league of a potential Duke-North Carolina semifinal this weekend, noting that it will probably be harder to sell tickets in Cary now.But whether the Orange plays in front of a packed house or empty bleachers, it’s the chance to get back at Louisville that gives SU extra motivation.“We lost two games this season, and now we get to play one of the teams we lost to,” Alseth said. “It’s a big chance for redemption for us and it is quite a big deal.” Commentslast_img read more