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Ekblom looks to continue scoring tear as Syracuse hosts No. 2 Virginia

first_imgEmil Ekblom didn’t even crack a smile after scoring the game’s only goal against Binghamton on Tuesday.In a game where the first 64 minutes were filled with missed chances and angst for Syracuse, a moment of relief was celebrated tamely.But scoring goals has become commonplace as of late for the sophomore.Ekblom has scored in each of Syracuse’s last three games and now has five this season, already halfway to last year’s total. After failing to convert on a handful of chances early in the season, Ekblom’s finishing touch is back. He’ll be looking to continue his goal-scoring tear when No. 18 Syracuse (7-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 2 Virginia (4-1-1, 1-0-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at SU Soccer Stadium.“He’s a clinical finisher,” goalkeeper Alex Bono said. “When we get him chances in front of the goal, we’re pretty confident that he’s going to score at least one or two in a game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the only game this year in which Syracuse has been shut out, a 1-0 loss to then-No. 4 Notre Dame on Sept. 13, Ekblom only managed two shots and one attempt on goal.On Saturday, Ekblom and the other Orange attackers will face a similar test against the Cavaliers’ defense, a unit that has only surrendered three goals in six games and is coming off a 1-1 tie with the Fighting Irish.But Ekblom recognizes his improvement from last year and said his goal-scoring prowess can grow even more now, facing some of the best teams in the country.“Better than I was last year, so just keep going,” Ekblom said. “I know I can score a couple more every game.”Head coach Ian McIntyre said that he thinks Virginia has a good chance to win the national title this year. In order for SU to prevent a second defeat to a top-tier side in the ACC and the nation, Ekblom will be the first person Syracuse turns to.Bono said that in order for the Orange to keep receiving the hype it’s been getting, the Orange needs to prove its worth with a win against a team like Notre Dame or Virginia.SU needs to find Ekblom in front of the goal and the rest will take care of itself, he said.While Ekblom’s goals have increased, their timeliness has improved too. Of his 10 goals last year, none were game-winners. Through eight games this year, he already has four.If the SU defense can continue to dominate it’ll be up to Ekblom and the offense to garner the team’s first win against a Top-10 team since Oct. 17, 2001 against then-No. 8 Rutgers.“I have a goal of averaging at least one goal a game,” Ekblom said. “Right now I’m a bit below but five goals, four game-winners, I’m in a decent spot.” Comments Published on September 25, 2014 at 12:05 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more