Real Orange Heroes: Syracuse Men's Soccer Team Makes NCAA Tournament

Two years ago, the Syracuse men's soccer team finished 2-10-5. In 2012, the team finished 12-6 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1984 and only the second time ever.

If you're a Syracuse Orange athletics program and you're not nationally-ranked, winning conference titles and/or making NCAA Tournaments, you're starting to get left in the dust. Case in point, look at how much the men's soccer program has improved in the last couple years.

Two years ago, the team finished 2-10-5. In 2012, the team finished 12-6 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1984 and only the second time ever. The upstart Orange take on Ivy League champ Cornell (15-1-0) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Berman Field in Ithaca. You probably should be there (ticket info here).

"To have the opportunity to see your name up there and be invited to the national tournament is a special moment," SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. "This is a special group and I'm very excited for them. We've said all along this is a very honest, committed group. That's why I'm delighted for them that they'll have another opportunity to go out and kick the ball around."

The Big Red are coached by Jaro Zawislan, who was a Syracuse assistant from 2001 to 2008. This will be the 67th meeting between the two schools and Cornell leads 34-25-7, though the Orange have won seven of the last nine.

Check out the full NCAA Tournament brackets here.

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