Syracuse men's soccer loses Big East opener

SU allows a goal late to fall to Marquette, 3-2.


It was a close match, but with two minutes to go in regulation, Marquette (3-4-1, 1-0-0) finally broke free with a game-winning score to defeat the Syracuse men’s soccer team (2-5-0, 0-1-0) in its Big East home opener Saturday at the SU Soccer Stadium. Freshman James Nortey scored the goal, his second of the night, in the 88th minute to secure the win for the Golden Eagles.  

“It’s the best my team’s played in awhile,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “And if we continue to keep playing like that, the winning will take care of itself.” Right from the start, Syracuse sent a barrage of shots at Marquette goalkeeper David Check, who finished the night with a career-high 12 saves. Then, in the 22nd minute, junior Mark Brode picked up a deflected ball, dribbled, and fired a shot toward the top left had corner of the box for his first goal of the year. Check mishandled the shot, giving SU a 1-0 lead. 

“In the first 15 minutes we battered them pretty good,” Brode said. “I felt like I was getting a lot of opportunities this game.”

The Golden Eagles responded quickly with a goal in the 18th minut as Nortey headed in his first of night off a cross from senior Calum Mallace.  

After starting out with such fire, the Orange went into halftime looking a little deflated, but recouped nicely after the break. The Orange started the second half with great movement in enemy territory, which eventually lead to junior Lars Muller’s first career goal off a corner kick from Nick Roydhouse in the 52nd minute to give Syracuse a 2-1 lead. 

“I’m happy to have my first goal, but I’m really frustrated that we didn’t win the game,” Muller said. “I’m frustrated that we lost because we were the better team.”

The Orange continued to show impressive ball movement after goal, but couldn’t convert on any opportunities. Then in the 66th minute, Marquette junior Chris Madsen deflated Syracuse’s defense with the equalizing score. 

The tie held until the 88th minute when Nortey broke free from a cluster in front of the SU net to score his second goal of the night past SU senior goalkeeper Phil Boerger.

Although he allowed three goals, Boerger had a career-night with nine saves.

“Overall we did okay defensively,” Boerger said. “We can do better, and obviously we gave up three goals, that’s not good enough to win in the Big East.”

Trailing for the first time of the night, the Orange rushed in the final two minutes to find the game-tying score, but could not mount a comeback. 

With only two minutes remaining in regulation, SU looked for its first game-tying goal of the night. The Orange never got a good look at the goal until six seconds left in regulation, when Syracuse was awarded a free kick on the bottom-left side of the goal. Roydhouse took the kick and attempted to pass the ball up to the top of the key, but Marquette was able to jump in front of the pass and ruin any chance of a late SU comeback.

“You don’t normally see that with a few seconds left,” McIntyre said, “Roydhouse tried to change the angle, but their forwards did well and made a last-ditch save. It was an exciting climax at the end of the game.”

Syracuse finished the night with a 25-20 shot advantage over the Golden Eagles, but it wasn’t enough to win. 

“I think we had a lot of chances that we should have put away,” Brode said.

The Orange hope to rebound Tuesday as it hosts Binghamton at SU Soccer Stadium. 



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