The Syracuse Orange men’s soccer team are the 2022 National Champions.
That’s it. That’s the opener.
Syracuse outlasted the Indiana Hoosiers, college soccer royalty, to take home the national championship, 7-6 on penalties after a 2-2 regulation and extra time. Amferny Sinclair netted the winner, Russel Shealy stood on his head and the Orange are coming home with the hardware. The Orange complete the treble as well, having won the ACC regular season, ACC Tournament and the NCAA Title. Big congrats to Coach McIntyre, the players, and the staff, on a phenomenal accomplishment, the first in Syracuse history.
An up and down affair through the first thirty minutes, both Syracuse and Indiana had their chances. At one point Herb Endeley missed an absolute sitter in front of goal for the Hoosiers that could have opened the match in their favor. Thankfully for the Orange, they were able to weather the storm, including some great recovery runs by Jeorgio Kocevski and Amferny Sinclair and Christian Curti putting Ryan Wittenbrink in his pocket a few times.
NATHAN OPOKU WITH A BEAUTY FOR THE OPENING GOAL ☄️— Syracuse Men's Soccer (@CuseMSOC) December 12, 2022
ESPNU - https://t.co/xhwitv5Z7U#DareToDream pic.twitter.com/9YFlox1gLt
The Hoosiers pushed the attack after going down and were able to get a few set pieces off the action. Unfortunately for the Orange, Patrick McDonald put in a rebound off an Orange header to equalize. Fortunately, almost immediately after Curt Calov came in and put the ball into the back of the net for his third on the year. The set up on that goal was a thing of beauty as Opoku garnered the assist after some more fancy footwork and hold up play.
As cool as you like from Calov #DareToDream pic.twitter.com/S5K1fY3Jed— Syracuse Men's Soccer (@CuseMSOC) December 12, 2022
Calov followed this up by almost netting another olimpico and continuing to offer instant offense to the squad. Opoku got some deserved rest as Julius Rauch came in for him and the Orange stayed on the front foot. Rauch almost got on the end of a miss hit from Indiana’s defense and set up a free kick in an advantageous position. Ultimately Syracuse headed into the half as the leaders, 2-1, in their first College Cup Final appearance.
Opening the second half, the defense weathered a storm from Indiana, primarily with them trying to play off the back shoulder or route one through the channels over the top of the Cuse defense. The Orange were up to the task and punched back, putting some strong attempts in inside the area. Indiana attempted to sneak one in on a cheeky attempt with Shealy way off his line. Thankfully he recovered and got a hand to the nice attempt from long range trying to chip him.
Shealy with a massive denial #DareToDream pic.twitter.com/hX70NiZKre— Syracuse Men's Soccer (@CuseMSOC) December 13, 2022
The ensuing track meet continued end to end. Indiana almost snagged an equalizer on a corner, continuing the worrying set piece trend for the Orange. Thankfully the ball never crossed the line after video review. There was an also an offside call that would have given some insurance there. I’d be remiss to mention that through all of this, Amferny Sinclair had been all over the pitch the entire match and also playing the majority of it with a yellow.
Syracuse could only absorb so much pressure unfortunately and Herb Endeley evened it up for the Hoosiers. He drifted towards the back post and put home a beauty that brought the match to 2-2 on the evening. The Orange responded but also ended up on their heels a few times. You could tell the midfield of the Orange was a bit gassed with closing speeds dropping and more space opening up. After all this, the match of course headed to extra time.
Extra time started extremely nervy for the Orange, found their footing and then were lucky to head into the break without giving up a 50-50 potential penalty by Oyegunle right at the whistle. Early in the second period, Leibold had a great run in his standard looping style that almost came good, but Harms was up to the challenge. The match, in true Cardiac Cuse fashion came down to penalties. It was the second time they’ve needed penalties to see a game out, taking out Virginia in the ACC Tournament without missing.
After Wittenbrink finishing his to open the affair, Boselli buried his attempt to even the kicks, 1-1. Both second attempts were denied, the third and fourth attempts both netted, including Calov going top bins and utterly confident. Biros finished his, then Rauch had some controversy, taking a quick kick, having to retake and then burying the retake. Then Levante Johnson took one off the crossbar and in, which took the entire viewing audience to their knees. After a Maouloune Goumballe miss, Amferny Sinclair sent the Orange home national champions, finishing his attempt on the seventh frame of penalties.
SYRACUSE WINS THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! pic.twitter.com/tYYFzJSoBT— Syracuse Men's Soccer (@CuseMSOC) December 13, 2022
For the Orange, the win marks the first national title for the men’s soccer program. In their first appearance in the finals they’ll be walking home with the hardware. Coach McIntyre and the squad will bring the trophy home after a much deserved and hard earned season.
Congratulations to the Orange on the title! They’ve officially “Dared to Dream.”