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Syracuse men’s soccer vs. No. 22 Virginia preview

The Orange host the Wahoos under some Friday night lights.

SUAC Steve Haller

After a week off, following the postponement of the matchup with the Clemson Tigers, the Syracuse Orange are playing host to two very solid squads this weekend (and into the early part of next week). On Friday, the No. 22 Virginia Cavaliers make their way to SU Soccer Stadium, in an ACC contest. On Monday, the local Colgate Red Raiders head to the hill for an out of conference tilt.

Syracuse vs. Virginia — Friday, 5 p.m, ET (TIME CHANGE)

The Orange open the weekend against one of the best teams in college soccer history. Virginia has a bit of a trophy case, winning the national title a total of seven times — most recently in 2014. The Hoos are always a solid squad, no matter the occasion and should provide quite a matchup Friday.

Unbeaten, UVA enters the game 3-0-2 (0-0-1) and the No. 22 team in the country. It will be the fourth overall meeting between the squads, with the series truly tied at 1-1-1. The Orange offense, which has been solid at 2.2 goals per game, will have its hands full against a stingy Virginia defense, only allowing a single goal in five matches.

The Wahoo offense has been led by freshman Happi Kamseu who has scored in his prior two matches. Joe Bell, the nidfielder, is the service specialist who takes their corners which have led to a few goals on the season. He’s also put in one of his own, against UNH.

On defense, it all hinges on Colin Shutler, the UVA keeper. At present he’s sitting at a 0.18 Goals Against Average. The goal he gave up in the 1-1 draw against the Virginia Tech Hokies has been his only on the year. A strong Syracuse attack may be able to crack this defense, but it will be an uphill battle.

Last year, the Orange were able to scrape for a draw down in Charlottesville. Goals from Hugo Delhommelle and Johnathan Hagman drew the Orange level and they got away with a point.

This one’s also being televised on ACC Network Extra, if you’re tuning in from home.

Syracuse vs. Colgate — Monday, 7 p.m. ET

‘Gate has spent the last couple seasons being ranked on and off, and travel to Syracuse at 4-1-2 on the 2018 campaign, with a win over a ranked Vermont squad and a draw against a top-10 Denver club. The Raiders also travel down to Baltimore on Friday to face Loyola, so they’ll be on the same amount of rest as Syracuse come Monday evening.

Unlike the high-flying Orange offense, Colgate has been in the business of grinding opponents down so far, averaging fewer than 1.3 goals per game (including a shutout loss at Air Force). That said, they’re also formidable on the road so far, with a 1-1-2 record on the season.

The ‘Gate attack is pretty well balanced, with all nine goals this year coming from nine different players. Senior Uyi Omorogbe (from Albany) is arguably the Raiders’ most dynamic player with the ball, and is one of those nine goal-scorers — he also has an assist. Fellow senior Oliver Harris could be a threat as well, and is more of a volume shooter (1-for-12 on the year, which ties for the lead on the team). Interestingly, defender Aram Ouligian, another senior, has also taken 12 shots this year with four on goal.