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Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Men’s Soccer Takes Down Hofstra in Home Opener

By Luke McGrath

CitrusTV Men’s Soccer Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse (2-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) was determined to win its home opener Sunday night at the SU Soccer Stadium, but Hofstra (0-3-1, 0-0 Colonial Athletic) had strong intentions of not letting that happen.

What could have been a disheartening 3-3 draw abruptly turned into a massive 4-3 victory thanks to Tajon Buchanan’s game-winner in the 88th minute, just one minute after Hofstra had tied the game at three.

The Orange held an advantage throughout the contest, outshooting the Pride 18-7, but Hofstra responded with an equalizer to Syracuse’s first three goals. But Buchanan’s goal proved too much for the Pride.

“(I’m) very proud of our guys, they could’ve moped after going 3-3, could’ve moped conceding right before half time to go 2-2 as well but kept on playing and I think deserved to get the win tonight,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said.

On a night when the SU Soccer Stadium had been especially loud given the excitement surrounding the home opener, the crowd fell silent in pure shock after each Hofstra goal. Fortunately for Orange fans they only had to wait 68 seconds to get back on their feet and celebrate once again, this time even louder.

Hugo Delhommelle curled the ball into the box, where it was originally met by a Pride player who attempted to clear the ball. But the ball bounced around a scrum and fell perfectly to the foot of Tajon Buchanon who capitalized on the fortuitous bounce securing his second goal of the night and Syracuse’s second win of the season.

The crowd once again erupted, Buchanon did a backflip and the Syracuse players sprinted to greet their teammate as Hofstra players watched in shock.

“Man, we all went nuts, like everyone that was on the bench, that was on the pitch we just ran to Tajon and celebrated together,” Soerlie said. “You know that’s our family, that’s our soccer family. We celebrate together, we win together, we lose together and today we had a little bit extra and we gave it all on the pitch and luckily we got a win.”

Senior midfielder Hugo Delhommelle agreed saying previous Syracuse teams wouldn’t have won this game.

“I think we showed very big character compared to last year, we would have lost or tied this game, but we learned from last year,” Delhommelle said.

For reference, last year’s Syracuse squad won four one-goal games, but lost eight, plus another loss in penalties in the ACC Championship.

Senior goaltender Hendrik Hilpert said that this year’s team is different and that the ten new players to the 2018 roster have had a huge impact on the locker room.

“The vibe, it’s just so different, you know we’re just all so excited and it’s a new season and we’re just ready to go and we were ready to go today and we played better than the other team,” Hilpert said. “We’re so excited for a very very good season because we’ve got character and talent both together and that makes us very optimistic.”

Soerlie was especially excited to show off the new Orange team on the first home game of the young season.

“It’s our castle we have to protect it and today we did in front of a lot of people. We showed we’re a new team this year and we’re here to win games,” Soerlie said.

SU will next be in action on Friday taking on Notre Dame in the Orange’s first ACC game of the season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the SU Soccer Stadium.

@L_McGrath14 | Lumcgrat@syr.edu