Facing off against an eager opponent wanting to knock off a professional club, Bethlehem Steel FC withstood Syracuse University, 2-0, with a pair of first-half strikes to lead the way toward victory.
“Syracuse was really good, stiff test and it really wasn’t a 2-0 game,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “We got stretched at times and only having 12 players available, guys had to hit the wall and push through it for the first time in preseason. I thought we were really sharp in the middle part of the first half and in the second half the game became really stretched and they certainly had the better game in the final half.”
After absorbing intense pressure from the ACC squad in the opening 10 minutes of play, Steel FC settled in and earned its scoring chances in quick succession. Intercepting a pass in the midfield, trialist Joe Gallardo dribbled into the box but was taken out to earn a chance from the penalty spot. Forward Brandon Allen converted, calming beating Syracuse goalkeeper Hendrick Hilpert inside the right post.
Four minutes later, Steel FC finished off its other scoring chance, with another trialist making a play. With a patient buildup in the run of play, midfielder Audi Jepson found space on the wing and fired a shot that snuck past the keeper for the two-goal advantage.
Facing a two-goal deficit, Syracuse tested the Steel FC defense with numerous shots in the final half. In the 59th minute, defender Brandon Aubrey showcased his veteran skills, being in the right place to block a shot from the top of the box. Meanwhile, local goalkeeper Keasel Broome stood strong in net to turn away nine shots on frame including two breakaways in the 77th and 87th minute,
Steel FC continues its busy preseason slate with a friendly on the road at Villanova. Kickoff from the Higgins Soccer Complex is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, Syracuse University 0
Shots: 19-15 (Syracuse)
Shots On Goal: 10-9 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 6-5 (Syracuse)
Saves: 9-8 (Bethlehem)
BST – 25’ Brandon Allen (PK)
BST – 29’ Audi Jepson
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Keasel Broome; Mickey George, Brandon Aubrey, AJ Paterson, Matt Mahoney (Sam Wancowicz 45’); Mike Catalano, Gregory Messam Jr.; Aidan Apodaca (Ryan Richter 66’), Joe Gallardo (Chris Nanco 75’), Audi Jepson; Brandon Allen.
SYRACUSE STARTING XI
Henderick Hilpert; Jan Breitenmoser, Dylan McDonald, Sondre Norheim, John-Austin Ricks; Simon Triantafillou, Jonathan Hagman, Severin Soerlie, Tajon Buchanon; Ryan Raposo, Hugo Delhommelle.
Substitutes used: Adnan Bakalovic, Lukas Rubio
Second half starters
Jake Leahy; Jan Breitenmoser, Kamal Miller, Sondre Norheim, John-Austin Ricks; Simon Triantafillou, Djimon Johnson, Adnan Bakalovic, Lukas Rubio; Hugh Delhommelle, Severin Soerlie.
Substitutes used:Tajon Buchanan, Jonanthan Hagman, Ryan Raposo, Dylan McDonald, Nikolas Steiner, Evan Peters, Matt Pickard, Manny Nunez.