The agony, glitz, desperation and glory of a penalty shootout was on full display at WakeMed Soccer Park Monday night as Syracuse beat Indiana after 110 minutes of back-and-forth soccer followed by eight rounds of penalties in the national championship game.
Here’s a shot-by-shot recap of the shootout:
|Wittenbrink ✅||Boselli ✅|
|Henderlong ❌||Kocevski ❌|
|Mihalic ✅||Calov ✅|
|Server ✅||Singelmann ✅|
|Maher ✅||Biros ✅|
|Bezerra ✅||Rauch ✅|
|Helmer ✅||Johnson ✅|
|Goumball ❌||Sinclair ✅|
Both goalkeepers made their presence known early on, saving the second penalty they faced and putting them away. What followed were several rounds of textbook penalty kicks: blasted into the top corners, hit into the side netting and past goalkeepers who thought the wrong way. In the third sudden-death shot, Syracuse goaltender and College Cup MVP Russell Shealy hit Maouloune Goumballe, setting up a decisive and championship-winning shot by team captain Amferny Sinclair.
— 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 near the bottom of the ACC and no one considered this team 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.
Forward Nathan Opoku was at the heart of the win, once again involved in multiple goals in regulation as he was in the semifinal win over Creighton. His goal was a brilliant display of his technique, beating two defenders with quick feet before turning into the top corner with his left foot. He later turned another defender before turning it into the path of Curt Calov, who scored 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 as runners-up for the second time in three seasons. The loss was all the more painful as they came back from a one-goal deficit on two occasions during regular time. Missed chances and defensive mistakes will replay in their minds all season long, but this team — this program — will undoubtedly be heard from again in the near future. The wait for the ninth star on IU’s crest will have to wait another year.
Meanwhile, the national championship trophy will be headed to a brand new home in upstate New York.
— Syracuse Men’s Soccer (@CuseMSOC) December 13, 2022