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Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 11:12 pm

No. 8 Men’s Soccer Remains Unbeaten after 3-1 Win Over Northwestern

By James Groh

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rainy conditions couldn’t slow down the Syracuse offense as the Orange scored early and often. SU defeated Northwestern 3-1 to remain unbeaten through the first four games of the season.

The match was immediately broken open as junior forward Adnan Bakalovic scored 54 seconds after kick off. Freshman forward Tajon Buchanan sent a low cross across the 18-yard-box and Bakalovic tapped it in near the far post. It was Bakalovic’s first goal of the season and Buchanan’s first assist.

Syracuse scored again 11 minutes later. Sophomore forward Johannes Pieles played a ball to junior midfielder Jonathan Hagman at the top of the box. Hagman slotted the ball into the side netting to double the Orange’s lead.

Buchanan capped of the scoring for SU. He recorded his second goal in four games in the 19th minute. Pieles lobbed a cross into the 18-yard-box and Buchanan headed the ball into the back of the net to extend the Orange’s lead to 3-0.

After the game, head coach Ian McIntyre praised the freshman for his efforts up front. There was much speculation regarding how Syracuse would replace two of its top three scorers, but after Sunday’s game, McIntyre said that he was impressed with how quickly Buchanan’s game has matured in the short time he has been at Syracuse. Buchanan also scored the game-winner in overtime in the Orange’s first game of the season against St. Louis.

Syracuse did concede a goal. Northwestern headed a ball into the side netting off a corner kick in the 64th minute. Junior defender Jake Roberge flicked the ball in and junior midfielder Camden Buescher is credited with the assist.

Syracuse still hasn’t posted a clean sheet this season. Last year, the Orange posted 11 shutouts.

Junior goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert was left out of the starting lineup. McIntyre cited team rules as to why Hilpert did not get the start. He did not elaborate any further. Pat Castle got the start, but was forced to exit the game with an undisclosed injury. Hilpert did come in to replace him.

Syracuse improved to 3-0-1 and Northwestern dropped to 1-3-0. The Orange open ACC play on the road against the No. 12 Virginia Cavaliers on Friday at 7 p.m.