first_img Comments As the final minutes of the first half wound down, Nick Roydhouse was in a foot race down the sideline with Binghamton’s Luke Halberg. Trying to knock the ball away from his opponent, Syracuse midfielder Roydhouse stuck his leg out, but his foot slid across the muddy field. His body followed his leg to the ground, and Halberg won the race and kicked the ball back upfield.Syracuse’s grip on the field was as unstable as its control of the game. While the Bearcats adjusted to the sloppy conditions, the Orange couldn’t find its footing on the ‘greasy’ field.‘To be honest, we both played on the same pitch. It’s not like we can really use it as an excuse,’ Roydhouse said. ‘We just didn’t adapt to the conditions fast enough and we paid for it.’Still, Roydhouse said he can’t blame the poor conditions for Syracuse’s 2-1 loss to the Bearcats on Tuesday. He couldn’t deny, though, that the Orange was simply outplayed by the Bearcats on both ends of the field. While Binghamton adjusted to the wet conditions — playing a scrappy style of play and outhustling Syracuse to nearly every loose ball — SU’s game was as messy as the field itself.All the players wore studs on their cleats, but they didn’t always help.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It was quick for us. But we warmed up on it,’ defender Chris Makowski said. ‘We should’ve adjusted. It’s unfortunate. It got wet and slippery, and then it becomes a ‘who wants it more’ match. It’s just really sloppy.’In the 18th minute, midfielder Nick Perea slipped near midfield in a scramble for the ball. Binghamton gained control, and forward Lars Muller slid right to the ground in an attempt of his own just a few feet away. At those times, the surface resembled ice rather than grass, and the Syracuse players slipped all over.Orange head coach Ian McIntyre said it’s that type of surface, though, that is the best for scorers. The ball’s quick. It moves faster than it does in dry conditions. But it comes at the price of having a difficult time handling it.And that’s true on both offense and defense.‘As a player, you love conditions like tonight,’ McIntyre said. ‘It’s a little bit greasy, and it makes the ball move. But it makes it more difficult to handle. Tonight, I felt our use of the ball was a little sloppy. … It’s tough for defenders to deal with because the ball is a little bit slick and little bit greasy.’But it was still an even playing field. Binghamton made the necessary adjustments to its game plan. The Bearcats never really even let the Orange set up a decent scoring opportunity.There were several times when Syracuse lost possession simply because it couldn’t get enough traction to keep the ball from going out of bounds. With eight minutes remaining in the first half, defender Ryan Tessler made an attempt to contain possession, but his feet went right out from under him.Things didn’t get much better for the rest of the game.None of the players chose to place the blame on the wet conditions. Instead, they said, it was much more a factor of simply not being at the level the Bearcats were playing at.‘We need to be ready. The pitch is exactly the same for both teams,’ forward Dan Summers said. ‘This is a really nice surface. We didn’t come out sharp enough today. Usually, we start games really well, and tonight we didn’t start quick enough.’Even McIntyre said several times that it looked like his team wasn’t as prepared as the Bearcats. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, the head coach walked to the bench, rubbing his forehead in frustration at what he was watching.When it was over, McIntyre took everything into consideration — wet field and all — and made a succinct summary of the night.‘Credit to Binghamton,’ McIntyre said. ‘We were outfought for large parts of the game and possibly outcoached.‘And today was a bad day.’[email protected] Published on September 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemancenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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