Frustration, brilliance, desperation and penalty shootout glory were on full display at WakeMed Soccer Park on Monday night, as Syracuse beat Indiana after 110 minutes of back-and-forth soccer after eight rounds penalty in the national championship game.
Here’s a summary of the shoot:
|Wittenbrink ✅||Boselli ✅|
|Henderlong ❌||Kocevski ❌|
|Mihalic ✅||Calov ✅|
|Saver ✅||Singelmann ✅|
|Product ✅||Biros ✅|
|Bezerra ✅||Rauch ✅|
|Helmer ✅||Johnny ✅|
|Gomball ❌||Sinclair ✅|
Both goalkeepers made their presence known early on, meeting the second penalty in front of them and sending them off. What followed were several rounds of textbook penalty kicks: blasting into the top corners, dragging into the side netting and rolling past goalkeepers who had guessed the wrong way. On a sudden third kick, Syracuse goalkeeper and College Cup Defensive Player of the Year Russell Shealy set up Maouloune Goumballe, setting up a decisive and game-winning post kick from team captain Amferny Nic na Blacksmith
🏆 CHAMPIONS!!!! #CollegeCup x @CuseMSOC pic.twitter.com/PKlC8xH9Fg
— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) December 13, 2022
A fitting way for the Orange to win the program’s first national championship and a storybook ending to a season that began with Syracuse picked to finish closer to the bottom of the ACC and no one even considered this team as a factor in the title picture. Four months and a school-record 19 wins later, the Orange stand alone atop the men’s college soccer mountain.
Striker Nathan Opoku was at the heart of the win, once again involved in several goals during regulation in the semi-final win against Creighton. His goal was a flash of his technical brilliance, beating two defenders with quick feet before curling one into the top corner with his left foot. He later turned another defender before curling one into the path of Curt Calov who headed home the second goal. Opoku’s two goals and two assists in the College Cup earned him Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors.
The Hoosiers leave Cary, North Carolina in second place for the second time in three seasons. The defeat was even more painful after they fought back from a one-goal deficit twice during normal time. The missed opportunities and defensive mistakes made will replay in their minds throughout the season, but this team – this program – will no doubt be heard from again soon. . The wait for the ninth star above the IU logo will have to wait another year.
In the meantime, the national championship trophy will be brought to a new home in New York.
Let the Chairs Begin 💍#DareToDream pic.twitter.com/NxJIMukTZB
— Syracuse Men’s Soccer (@CuseMSOC) December 13, 2022