CARY, N.C. (SU ATHLETICS) – Syracuse men’s soccer captured its first ACC Tournament Championship since 2015 with a dominant 2-0 victory over Clemson at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Orange bring home the second ACC Championship under head coach Ian McIntyre.
Junior midfielder Lorenzo Boselli put Syracuse in front in the 21st with his second goal of the ACC Championships. From there, Syracuse continued to dictate the tempo and control possession. The Orange doubled their advantage in the 38th minute after sophomore forward Curt Calov found Giona Leibold to put the match out of reach.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Russell Shealy is the 2022 ACC Tournament MVP. The Cartersville, Georgia native finished with four saves and held the Tigers scoreless in the final. Shealy is joined by Boselli, defender Christian Curti and midfielder Jeorgio Kocevski on the 2022 ACC All-Tournament Team.
“Extremely proud to be coaching a wonderful group of young men who, week in and week out, leave everything out on the field and were terrific today,” McIntyre said after winning the second ACC Championship of his career. “I’m very happy to see these guys smiling and happy. It’s a group that is bigger and better than just the talent of the group.”
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Both sides crafted attacking chances in the first 10 minutes of the match, as Syracuse created chances through quick passing patterns and Clemson found opportunities. The Orange almost pulled ahead twice in the first 10 minutes, but shots from Levonte Johnson and Leibold were saved by Clemson’s keeper Joseph Andema.
The Orange struck first in the ACC Final. In the 21st minute, sophomore forward Nathan Opoku controlled the ball on the edge of the box and dished a pass toward goal. The ball took a deflection off a Clemson defender and landed on the feet of Boselli. The Italian midfielder controlled the ball and fired a shot past Andema for the opening strike.
The second goal for Syracuse came in the 38th minute. The Tigers won a free kick on the edge of the box after Abid Salim tripped a Clemson attacker. Alvaro Gomez’s free kick deflected off the wall, as Calov snatched the ball and pushed the Orange for a counterattack. The Morristown, New Jersey native spotted Leibold making a run toward goal and sent a pass that set the wingback up with a one-on-one against Amanda. Leibold converted the chance to double Syracuse’s advantage.
The first half ended with the Orange outshooting Clemson 9-4. The Orange recorded five shots on goal, while Syracuse’s backline of Salim, Curti and Olu Oyegunle limited the Tigers to a single shot on goal in the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, Syracuse kept Clemson off the scoreboard with solid defending. Just 40 seconds into the second period of play, the Orange almost added a third goal. Opoku sprinted away from the Clemson defense and fired a shot that was saved by Andema.
Shealy recorded three saves in the second half. One of those saves came in the 64th minute as Clemson’s Gomez fired a quick volley from outside the box. Shealy reached back and punched the ball clear of a corner.
Syracuse outshot Clemson, 15-12, over the 90 minutes, recording eight shots on target compared to the Tigers’ four.
The NCAA Men’s Soccer Selection Show is at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15.