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Syracuse men’s soccer hosts the Elite 8 for the first time against Vermont

The Syracuse revenge tour marches on...

Syracuse Men’s Soccer #10 Jersey Andy Pregler

There’s two really big soccer matches this upcoming Syracuse Soccer Saturday. At 10am, the United States Men’s National Team looks to extend their World Cup Campaign against the Netherlands. At 2pm, the Syracuse Orange make history, hosting a national quarterfinal matchup for the first time, as they take on the Vermont Catamounts at Syracuse Soccer Stadium.

Syracuse beat the Penn Quakers to open their campaign in the second round of the tournament and then avenged their regular season loss to the Cornell Big Red to advance out of the third round of the tournament. They’ll play host to a veteran Vermont side who has started to put it together at the right time.

After an impressive 13-2-2 regular season with only a single America East Conference loss, the Catamounts have put on a clinic in the NCAAs. They were bounced surprisingly in the first round of the America East tournament, but have used that as a springboard, beating Quinnipiac 3-2 in 2OT, SMU 3-2 on the road, and UCLA 3-0 at home to now make the trip down to Syracuse. As you can see they are no strangers to putting points on the board.

This matchup will pit an offense who is pumping on all cylinders against one of the best defenses in the country this year. Syracuse boasts the third best goals against average in the country, only allowing 0.579 goals per match, including 11 clean sheets on the season. Unfortunately for the Orange, Vermont also has boasted 11 clean sheets and is only slightly worse in their GAA.

The UVM attack consists of forwards Max Murray and Yaniv Bazini, who have shown a knack for putting the ball in the back of the net, scoring 10 and 5 goals respectively on the season. Fifth year midfielder Alex Nagy leads the team in points, including 9 assists and 9 goals. The facilitator can also put it in the back of the net as needed. He was a 2021 SuperDraft pick for DC United before deciding to return for his grad season at UVM. It hasn’t been a disappointment for them at all. The defense is anchored by the solid Nate Silveria, another fifth year player that has been key in goal for the Catamounts all season.

As mentioned in September the Orange drew the Catamounts up in Burlington. The 1-1, early in the season featured goals from Syracuse’s Levante Johnson, his first on the year, assisted by Nate Opoku. Vermont’s was a solid strike from Yaniv Bazini, to even it up and send the Orange home with their first knocks of the new season. At that point you knew UVM was probably better than they were given credit for and they continued on to have a special season.

The match will be hosted at SU Soccer Stadium on Saturday, 12/3, at 2pm. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids and seniors, and the first 500 students there will get in for free.