Men’s Soccer Prepares for NCAA Second Round
By: Andrew Selover | @AndrewSelover CitrusTV Men’s Soccer Beat Reporter
After winning its second ever ACC Title, Syracuse men’s soccer received the No. 3 overall seed to the NCAA Tournament. Third is the best ranking for SU in the national tournament in school history. Kentucky and Washington are the only two teams seeded higher than the Orange. With a top-16 seed, Syracuse received a bye through Thursday’s first round of the tournament that saw Penn knock off Rutgers 3-0 at home. The Quakers now travel to the 315 to face the Orange tomorrow in the second round.
No matter which way the first round panned out, the SU Soccer Stadium would host a pair of conference champions. With the Ivy League champs knocking off the Big Ten champs, it sets up an ACC versus Ivy matchup. In its one matchup against an Ivy League opponent this season, Syracuse lost to Cornell 2-1. The Quakers beat the Big Red 3-2 this year, leading to the conference title.
Sunday’s matchup also features two conference coaches of the year. Ian McIntyre guided Syracuse from an 8-8-2 season last year to a 14-2-4 season so far. Brian Gill led Penn to its first conference title since 2013. The Quakers were projected to finish fifth in the conference in preseason voting after a 7-6-3 season a year ago. Gill also led Penn to a ranking in the coaches poll for the first time since 2010.
One thing that makes the Quakers very dangerous is a two-headed monster in attack. Stas Korzeniowski and Ben Stitz dominated defenses in the Ivy League with pace, power, and height. Korzeniowski stands at 6’4” and Stitz at 6’2”, presenting arial threats for defenses. Both attackers have scored 11 goals so far for Penn in 2022.
Korzeniowski is a bit familiar to the Orange, at least one member of SU. Syracuse midfielder Curt Calov and Korzeniowski played together on the New Jersey Developmental Academy team. Ahead of the matchup tomorrow, Calov grinned about the opportunity to play against one of his best friends saying, “it’s going to be fun to see him.” Calov texted Korzeniowski immediately following the Quakers win over Rutgers on Thursday. Once the game begins though, Calov says, “it will be all business on the field.” The SU midfielder is confident in the Syracuse defense’s ability to stop Korzeniowski and Stitz up top for Penn. Game time between the Orange and Quakers is slated for 2 p.m. on Sunday