Syracuse won the 2022 Men’s College Cup after a dramatic 2-2 tie

The agony and awesomeness, desperation and glory of a shootout were on full display at WakeMed Soccer Park Monday night, as Syracuse defeated Indiana after 110 minutes of back-and-forth football, followed by an eight-round shootout in the national championship game.

Here’s a shot-by-shot recap of the shootout:

Indiana Syracuse
Wittenbrink ✅ Boselli ✅
Henderlong ❌ Kocevski ❌
Mihalik ✅ Calov ✅
Sarfer ✅ Singleman ✅
Skilled ✅ Pyrrhus ✅
Bezira ✅ Rauch ✅
Helmer ✅ Johnson ✅
Gumball ❌ Sinclair ✅

Both goalkeepers made their presence known early on, taking the second penalty he faced and clearing. What followed were several rounds of penalty kicks: slammed into the top corners, slammed into the side netting and rolled past goalkeepers who had guessed the wrong way. On the third sudden death kick, Syracuse guard and Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the College Cup, Russell Shelley, stuffed Molon Gumball, laying down the decisive, championship-winning penalty kick from team captain Amphernee Sinclair.

A fitting way for the Orange to win the program’s first national championship and a story book end to a season that began with Syracuse opting to finish near the bottom of the ACC and no one considers this team a factor in the title picture. Four months later and a school-record 19 wins, the Orangemen stand alone at the top of the men’s college soccer mountain.

Striker Nathan Opoku was pivotal in the win, again being involved in multiple goals during regulation as he was in the semi-final win over Creighton. His goal was a flash of technical brilliance, beating two defenders with his quick feet before smashing into a top corner with his left foot. Later, he turned another defender before smashing one into the path of Kurt Callow who scored the second goal. Opoku’s two goals and two assists in the College Cup earned him the Offensive Player of the Year award.

The Hoosiers leave Cary, North Carolina in second place for the second time in three seasons. The defeat was all the more painful after they came from one goal down on two occasions throughout regular time. Missed chances and defensive mistakes made will be back on all of their minds off the season, but this team – this program – will no doubt be heard again in the near future. The ninth star atop IU will have to wait another year.

Meanwhile, the National Championship Trophy will be headed to a brand new home in upstate New York.

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