Christian Miesch’s performance in goal preserves Syracuse’s 1-1 tie with Pittsburgh

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 27, 2019 at 11:34 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu When Hilli Goldhar was asked postgame about teammate Christian Miesch’s performance in goal on Friday night, he saw Miesch out of the corner of his eye, wearing his bright yellow goalie jersey. Goldhar looked over toward him and continued, this time making sure Miesch could hear. “Christian was huge,” Goldhar said. “He had a big game, he’s always communicating at the back.”As Miesch walked over and put his arm around Goldhar, the goalie thanked him.  Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre didn’t want to name a starting goalkeeper to start the season. He gave both Miesch and Jake Leahy a chance to win the job, both in practice and games. They alternated for the first four games of the season, but that was then.Miesch has won the starting goalkeeper job and started the Orange’s last five games. He transferred to Syracuse from Stony Brook because he wanted to face elite competition in the Atlantic Coast Conference and on Friday night, Miesch took the Panthers’ best attacks and denied all but one of nine shots on goal. His shot-stopping performance and defensive organization helped Syracuse (3-2-4, 0-1-2 ACC) — down a man for 45 minutes — save a 1-1 double-overtime tie with Pittsburgh (3-3-2, 1-1-1) on Friday night at SU Soccer Stadium. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I knew once we went a man down it was going to be a little more work for me,” Miesch said. “I felt like I did what I could there. At the end of the day I’m disappointed right now more than I am happy about the saves.”As a goalkeeper who can view the entire pitch at once, Miesch is in charge of not just playing the ball and stopping shots, but also organizing the defense. So when freshman Luther Archimede was sent off following a second yellow card five minutes into the second half, Miesch helped facilitate the formation switch the Orange made.Instead of its usual three defenders and two wing backs, SU was playing a straight back four. Miesch repeatedly shouted to Goldhar, who typically plays wing back, to tuck in more closely to the other defenders. Still, Pittsburgh created plenty of chances. Miesch’s eight saves are more than double his Orange career high. “I mean tactically it’s about being really tight,” Miesch said. “Making the space small for your opponent. Holding the midfielders together, holding the defenders together, it’s the little things.”Miesch made two routine saves in the opening 30 minutes but both required him to spill the rebound into the feet of the waiting Pittsburgh attackers. Both times, Miesch covered the shot without any second chance. When Pittsburgh’s Matt Bailey eyed up a free kick with the clock ticking below four minutes, the Orange were desperately clinging to their tie. Miesch organized the SU wall but Bailey beat it. As the ball curved up and over the wall and arrowed toward the top corner, Miesch outstretched and palmed the ball out of its orbit and wide of his post.Miesch was needed again on a corner two minutes later as the ball was headed around in the center of the box before drifting to the feet of Pitt defender Bryce Washington at the far post. Miesch, who had an error earlier in the season coming off his line against Yale, scampered to his right and blocked the shot. “It’s what I do in practice everyday,” Miesch said. “Nothing extraordinary, I see the ball coming and go for it. In a game, I don’t really think, I just act. I wish it would have helped us win but it didn’t.”In the final minute, Miesch’s quick first step enabled him to poach a ground cross before any Panthers could tap it into the net. Once Pittsburgh lost a man of its own to a red card, Miesch didn’t face another shot on goal. “He was massive,” forward Massimo Ferrin said. “Made some huge saves, came out on some crosses and slowed the game down for us when he had to when we were down to 10 men.”Miesch thought the Orange deserved the win. He doesn’t want any individual credit, but without his presence down the stretch, one point could have been none. Commentslast_img

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