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Sleeping with the Enemy, Soccer Style!: The Orange of Syracuse

Your Georgetown Soccer Hoyas take on the hated Syracuse Orange in a 3rd round NCAA Tournament battle at Shaw Field today at 1pm, and resident soccer guru VivanLosHoyas is here to get you informed! Special thanks to Nunes Magician soccer guru Steve Haller for helping us out.  Check out our answers to their questions HERE. Watch the game LIVE right here.  Fast kicking! Low scoring! Ties!

So, when did y'all learn futbol so good? But seriously, as I understand, the Syracuse soccer program dates back to 1920 (Georgetown's started in 1952), but the recent rash of NCAA tournament success is somewhat unprecedented. What's behind your recent rise to national prominence?

Well after the last glacier receded past our northern climes, we decided to start paying attention to games that can be played outside. Basically this resurgence coincides with the hiring of Coach Ian McIntyre in 2010. He's been able to sculpt this program into something successful in quite a short amount of time. He and his squad have hit the recruiting trail hard and been fruitful in grabbing some guys that could really help the program take the next step.

Tell us how in the world you managed to get ranked #1 in the country at a couple of points (if I recall correctly) during the regular season?

I knew at the beginning of the year, Syracuse would have a better campaign than the preseason ACC poll gave them credit for, but this year and that stretch that touched the number one ranking have exceeded any expectations. The Orange have basically rode the back of an extremely strong defense, anchored by Skylar Thomas, Jordan Murrell and standout keeper Alex Bono and a 0.48 goals against average, good for #2 in the nation.

Your defense is much vaunted, but who makes things tick for the Orange attack?

The attack for the Orange is pretty well balanced. The goals will come through forwards Emil Ekblom (8) and Chris Nanco (5) but most of the midfield has a few to their name. Look for Oyvind Alseth, Jordan Murrell or German wunderkind Julian Buescher to be the ones picking out the passes and creating service.

How did Syracuse attract 4 Canadian and 3 Scandinavian players to its soccer program? The balmy weather?

You missed the memo about snow attracting college soccer players? In all honesty, McIntyre's staff has done a great job looking abroad and Scandinavia was a natural spot to send assistant Jukka Masalin seeing he's Finnish. Canada being our nice northerly neighbors seemed to be a great place to look into as well, especially with the Syracuse track record out of the country (Patrice Bernier).

Your prediction on how this game plays out and who goes through?

Much like how you are looking for a tight match with the Hoyas advancing, I'd say Syracuse sneaks through on a late one in regulation. It should be a standard Syracuse vs Georgetown game with everything left out on the pitch.