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Friday, Sep 01, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Men’s Soccer Draws in its Home Opener Against Princeton

By James Groh

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Two periods of overtime weren’t enough to settle the score between Syracuse and Princeton during the Orange’s home opener. The final score was 1-1.

The game started slow. Syracuse relied on its defense early as the offense struggled to find a rythm. The Orange was content to drop the ball to one of its center backs or goalkeeper, and swing the ball from side to side. Even for Syracuse’s defensive approach, Princeton couldn’t find much momentum on offense either.

The Tigers did test Hilpert on a few occasions, but none were as menacing as when the Syracuse goaltender was forced to make two back-to-back saves to keep the game level at zero.

Princeton broke the deadlock in the 70th minute. After Hilpert parried away one shot, the ball fell to midfielder Frankie DeRosa’s feet. He was able to strike the ball with his first touch, and he found the back of the net.

This began to unravel the Orange a bit. Princeton found offensive momentum and continued to apply pressure to Syracuse’s backline.

Tempers boiled over in the 74th minute. Syracuse center back Kamal Miller was sent off for abusive language. This was one of three SU cards during the game.

With only 10 men on the field for the Orange, it looked as if Princeton was going to take the upset victory. However, SU found its breakthrough in the 84th minute when midfielder John-Austin Ricks chested a ball down and scored off a half-volley 30 yards out, sending the game into overtime.

Syracuse tried to squeeze past the Princeton defense. Its best opportunity came from a series of back-to-back corners; however, the Orange couldn’t find the back of the net for a second time.

The game concluded at the end of the two overtime periods tied at 1-1. Syracuse remains unbeaten during the regular season and improves to 2-0-1. Princeton draws in its first game of the season to make a record of 0-0-1.

Syracuse will play Northwestern on Sunday at 7 p.m., to conclude the Central New York Classic soccer tournament.