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Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 at 11:01 pm

Men’s Soccer Scores Late Winner to Edge Past Oregon State

By James Groh

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A late goal proved to be the deciding factor again for Syracuse as it beat Oregon State 3-2.

The Orange got off to a slow start for much of the first half as it was uncharacteristically pinned down in its own defensive third. SU let in a goal just nine minutes into play. Midfielder Hassani Dotson cut right and dribbled along the 18-yard box before curling a shot into the side netting of the far post.

Head coach Ian McIntyre said that Syracuse came out sluggish in the first half.

“I think ultimately we looked for stretches in the first half like it was a midweek Tuesday game [and] we just got out of biology lab,” he said.

SU had just one shot in the first half; however, it proved to be a vital one. Just five minutes after conceding a goal, junior forward Adnan Bakalovic dribbled down the touch line, then laid a ball off at the penalty spot for Jonathan Hagman, who tapped it into the back of the net. It was Hagman’s fourth goal of the season.

The Beavers would have four more shots on goal after that, but only one was on target.

Later, eight minutes into the second half, senior midfielder Mamadou Balde went down just inside the corner of the 18-yard box. Junior defender Kamal Miller stepped up to take the penalty and slotted it low into the right corner for his first goal of the season.

It wasn’t long before OSU was able to equalize. A foul at the top of box teed up a straight-on free kick for Matthias Binder. He found the back of the net and the game was tied 2-2 in the 65th minute.

McIntyre said that Syracuse wasn’t playing its style of soccer, rather one that was “physical and direct, which suited [Oregon State] well.”

As the game continued, emotions flared and tensions rose. One yellow card and four fouls were called before the referee tried to calm the game down.

With just four minutes left in the game, Syracuse got what seemed to be its customary late goal. Sophomore midfielder Mo Adams said after the game that he knew the game would be decided by a set piece. That’s exactly how it ended.

Junior midfielder Hugo Delhommelle took a corner from the left side. It was flicked on by sophomore Syracuse defender John-Austin Ricks, but it took a sharp deflection off an Oregon State player, and rolled into the back of the net.

The final score was 3-2.

After the game, Adams said that it was a game his team had to fight every moment for.

“It was a very scrappy game,” he said. “It wasn’t a soccer game…It was a game of who really wants it more in the end and we came out as winners.”

Syracuse remains unbeaten and improves to 4-0-2 while Oregon State drops to 2-4-0.

The Orange will take on the #17 Louisville Cardinals at the SU Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday. Louisville is coming off its only loss of the season to then #2 ranked Wake Forest last week.