SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Junior Tony Asante scored his second goal of the season, but Niagara (2-0-1) used a two-goal second half lead to fend off the Orange and hand the SU men's soccer team (2-1-0) its first loss of the season, 2-1, on Friday, Aug. 31 at the SU Soccer Stadium. It was the Purple Eagle's first win against Syracuse in 11 tries.
"Ultimately, Niagara deserved to win tonight," SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. "I think we are better for this game. Good teams are judged by how they bounce back from nights like these."
Niagara registered its first goal when Bryan Da Cruz sent a cross into the box, and Callum Willmott headed it home in the seventh minute for his second goal of the season. Willmott found the back of the net again off of a rebound to give the Purple Eagles a two-goal advantage early in the second half.
Syracuse continued to apply pressure throughout the second period. The Orange finished with an 11-6 shot advantage, including an 11-0 edge in corner kicks.
In the 65th minute, SU cut the lead to one when senior Ted Cribley found a charging Asante, who skipped the ball past the NU goalie for his second goal of the season. The Orange was unable to register the match-tying tally, as Purple Eagle keeper Brett Petricek gathered five saves, including three in the second half, to preserve the Niagara victory.
The Orange is back in action when it hosts Colgate on Monday, Sept. 3 at the SU Soccer Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Match Notes: The 1982 Orange side that captured the inaugural BIG EAST Championship trophy and holds the school record for most wins in a season (17) was honored at halftime … The squad will also be recognized at halftime of the football team's opener against Northwestern on Saturday, Sept. 1 … rookie goalie Alex Bono allowed his first goals of the season, breaking a two-game shutout streak … senior co-captain Mark Brode saw his first minutes of the season after injuring his hand in preseason training … Cribley's helper was his fifth assist of his career.