SU men’s soccer looks for 2nd straight victory in Big East matchup with DePaul

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ On paper, the Syracuse men’s soccer team and DePaul are strikingly similar. Neither has an outstanding record, but both have standout players. They both float towards the bottom of the Big East’s Red Division, with DePaul 15th in shots this season and Syracuse 16th out of 16. In terms of defense, they are tied for 14th in goals allowed. So in their match at SU Soccer Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m., one team will break away from the other. One team will get to climb up the rungs toward a Big East tournament berth. Currently in Big East play, Syracuse (2-5-3, 0-1-1 Big East) has one point, whereas DePaul (3-6-2, 0-2-0 Big East) in the Big East, sits in last place with no points. ‘It’s going to be a battle, an absolute battle,’ sophomore Mark Brode said. ‘They’re going to be good. But they’re having a rough season. We’re having a rough season. They just need a point.’ Despite having a slightly better conference record, Syracuse has a worse regular season record than DePaul. The differences are minor. Neither team has found its stride yet this year. But SU head coach Ian McIntyre said records don’t matter once the teams get on the field. Brode disagreed. For him, the Big East is what his team plays for. In terms of setting up for the tournament, earning three points tomorrow would help the Orange achieve that goal. But it could just as easily do the same for the Blue Demons. A win is particularly important for Syracuse because the next seven teams Syracuse faces are conference foes, and most of them are tougher tests than DePaul.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘Big East is definitely more important,’ Brode said. ‘Non-league is just to get us ready for the Big East. The Big East is the big show.’ Although both teams have struggled so far in conference play, each has strong goal-scorers that have made names for themselves in the Big East. DePaul’s Alex Mangan and Syracuse’s Nick Roydhouse have stepped up for their teams. Mangan has five goals and Roydhouse four. The players have different styles, but they set a tone for their teammates that is unmatched. Mangan, a redshirt senior, was responsible for both of DePaul’s goals in the team’s 2-1 victory over the Orange last season. He imposes himself on the game with the help of his 6-foot, 180-pound frame. Roydhouse transferred this year from Hartwick and is only a junior, but is clearly the equivalent scoring threat for SU. ‘They’re different players,’ McIntyre said. ‘… Alex (Mangan) is a very strong player who holds the ball up. When you see him, he’s a physical presence out there. Young Nick (Roydhouse) is not. They both have a very similar importance to the big scheme of things.’ Both teams are coming off close games. Syracuse beat Colgate 3-2 in overtime, and DePaul was on the losing end of a 3-2 game to Northwestern. Coming out strong and falling behind as the game wore on was a problem for SU and Blue Demons. Defender Nick Bibbs said that as a result of this pattern, it will be important for the Orange to score early, in case it loses momentum in the second half. But riding a win into this weekend could give Syracuse some advantage. Brode was responsible for both the winning goal and the first goal in the Colgate game. He was also the only player to score in last year’s game at DePaul. With the two goals at his back, and some experience against the Blue Demons, the team will be looking to him to help generate some offense. Bibbs hopes Brode will be able to keep up his scoring trend against DePaul. To put some distance between two similar Big East teams. ‘Hopefully those two goals last night gave him confidence,’ Bibbs said. ‘I really do hope he scores and it’s a tradition from here on out.’ [email protected] Published on October 6, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img

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