Year in review: Men's soccer rises to the top

Led by one of the nation's best players in goalkeeper Alex Bono, the Orange became a legitimate ACC contender.

Magical. Remarkable. Extraordinary. 


With a painful 2-1 overtime loss to Georgetown in the third round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship on Nov. 30, a monumental season came to a grinding halt for head coach Ian McIntyre and his Syracuse squad. 

In a year that yielded 16 wins, one shy of the single-season record of 17 set in 1982, the program’s first national No. 1 ranking and a defense that ranked among the top three in the nation for goals-against average, the Orange was done in by its old Big East rival and ousted by the Hoyas for the second time in three years. 

For Syracuse, its impressive season included marquee victories against Duke in the second round of the ACC tournament, Penn State in the second round of the NCAA Championship, a 1-0 shutout in South Carolina over Atlantic Coast Conference champion Clemson, and an impressive win over then-No. 2 Virginia. 

A stout defense led the way, as the team posted 12 shutouts while allowing only 12 goals all season en route to a share of the ACC Atlantic Division title. 

The Orange will bid farewell to five seniors: Skylar Thomas, Nick Perea, Gogo Kollie, Chris Makowski and Jordan Murrell, who finished his tenure at SU with 20 career assists, placing him in the top ten of Syracuse’s all-time career assists leaders. 

Twenty-four players on this season’s roster are eligible to return. That group includes standout goalkeeper Alex Bono, All-ACC forward Emil Ekblom (18 goals through two seasons) and All-ACC freshman Julian Buescher. 

Bono, who surpassed 200 career saves in the loss to Georgetown, was also named a finalist for the 2014 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in collegiate soccer. 

The ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Bono was the foundation for the Orange’s formidable defense. He set Syracuse single-season records for goals-against average, shutouts and minutes played, while also ranking in the top ten in every career goalkeeping category at SU.  

Calling the shots from the sideline, McIntyre has been instrumental in Syracuse’s recent success. At the conclusion of his fifth season since taking over the program in January 2010, McIntyre has guided the Orange to 40 wins over the past three campaigns.  

With success quickly the becoming the norm, the question facing next year’s Orange squad will be whether or not it can keep producing as expectations continue to rise. 

Said McIntyre: "It's an important group that has set the bar pretty high and set the table from which we can [continue to] build.”

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