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Syracuse men’s soccer captures 2nd ACC Championship with 2-0 win over Clemson

Make room on “the perfect pitch” for another banner.

Michael Ostrowski

SU is a fútbol school. We don’t make the rules.

The No. 4 Syracuse Orange men’s soccer squad rose to the occasion yet again, as Ian McIntyre’s boys shut out the defending Champion Clemson Tigers to capture their 2nd ACC title and 3rd overall (they also won the 1982 Big East Tournament). It’s the second time this season that SU beat No. 18 Clemson.

The Orange came out firing right from the start, with three shots in the first five minutes and nine in the first 45. The Tigers meanwhile only had four by halftime. Amferny Sinclair got a little too aggressive and drew a yellow card in the 11th minute, but SU ‘s line was able to ward off the free kick.

‘Cuse proceeded to find the back of the net twice before switching sides. First, it was the Italian Lorenzo Boselli who scored in the 21st minute. Just four days after he scored in the ACC Semifinals against Virginia, Boselli looked for a pass from fellow international product Nathan Opoku. It was deflected and kicked around by the Tigers’ defense, but Boselli was in perfect position to quickly fire the loose ball over the left shoulder of Clemson goalkeeper Joseph Andema. The transfer trio of Boselli, Opoku, and Levonte Johnson have been vital contributors to a revamped attack this season.

Then in the 38th minute, the Orange capitalized on a quick breakout. Another free kick try by the Tigers was blocked, and Curt Calov took off down the middle of the field. Giona Leibold followed suit up top and outran the closest defender, finding himself wide open. Calov hit him with a pinpoint pass that narrowly avoided an offsides call, and Leibold did not waste his breakaway opportunity. Andema tried to take away more of the net by staying in the penalty area, but Leibold’s shot flew just past the goalie’s outstretched fingers.

Russell Shealy stopped all four shots on goal to earn his second shutout of the tournament and ninth of the season. He would be named 2022 ACC Tournament MVP for the shutouts and coming up big during penalties against Virginia last week.

Coach Mac also received a well-earned award: ACC Coach of the Year. He was selected for the award on Wednesday and congratulated by Commissioner Jim Phillips before the game yesterday.

The Orange are set to make their eight NCAA Tournament appearance and will be hosts until they potentially reach the College Cup. We’ll find out who SU will face during the Selection Show this afternoon at 1.