Syracuse wins the 2022 men’s college cup on PKs after a dramatic 2-2 draw

Syracuse men's soccer celebrates winning the national championship

The agony, shine, despair and glory of a penalty shootout were on display Monday night at WakeMed Soccer Park when Syracuse defeated Indiana after 110 minutes of back-and-forth soccer followed by eight penalties in the national championship game.

Here’s a shot-by-shot summary of the gunfight:

Indiana Syracuse
Wittenbrink ✅ Boselli ✅
Henderlong ❌ Kocevski ❌
Mihalic ✅ Kalov ✅
Saver ✅ Single man ✅
Maher ✅ Ballpoint pen ✅
Bezerra ✅ smoke ✅
Helmet ✅ Johnson ✅
Goumballe ❌ Sinclair ✅

Both goalkeepers made themselves felt early on, hitting the second penalty and deflecting it. What followed were several rounds of textbook penalties: shot into the top corners, lashed into the side nets and rolled past goalkeepers who guessed wrong. On the third sudden-death kick, Syracuse keeper and College Cup defensive end Russell Shealy cornered Maouloune Goumballe and set up a crucial penalty shot by team captain Amferny Sinclair, who won the title.

A fitting way for the Orange to win the program’s first national championship and a fairytale ending to a season that began with Syracuse ending up closer to the bottom of the ACC with no one even counting that team as a factor in the cover picture. Four months and a school record 19 wins later, the Orange stand alone on the men’s college soccer mountain.

Forward Nathan Opoku was central to the win and was again involved in several goals during regulation time as he beat Creighton in the semifinals. His goal was a flash of his technical brilliance, beating two fast-footed defenders before curling in a top corner with his left foot. He later turned another defender before deflecting one down the run of Curt Calov, who scored the second goal. Opoku’s two goals and two assists in the College Cup earned him the Most Outstanding Offensive Player award.

Syracuse vs. Indiana: 2022 Men’s College Cup Championship Highlights

The Hoosiers leave Cary, North Carolina as runners-up for the second time in three seasons. The loss was even more painful after they twice came from a one-goal deficit during regulation time. The missed chances and defensive mistakes will linger in their minds throughout the offseason, but this team – this program – will undoubtedly be heard again in the near future. Waiting for the ninth star above the IU crest will have to wait another year.

Meanwhile, the national championship trophy is being transported to a brand new home in upstate New York.

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