SYRACUSE, N.Y. – After scoring a goal in each of its first two matches this season, the rv Syracuse men’s soccer team’s offense ignited in its 4-1 victory at the SU Soccer Stadium. The match was the Orange’s first home contest of the season and the opening round of the Central New York Classic.
Four different players scored for Syracuse, including redshirt junior Liam Callahan (Amherst, N.Y.), who netted his first career goal. Senior Korab Syla (Yonkers, N.Y.) recorded a goal and an assist, while junior Ben Polk (Herkimer, N.Y.) registered two assists in his Orange debut.
“I’m really pleased with the result,” said Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre. “Overall, I thought we did some really good stuff today. There are areas that we can certainly improve upon. It was a hot day and we had to really work for this win.”
The Orange (2-1-0) dominated play in the first half, creating several scoring chances. Syracuse broke through in the 28th minute when Callahan took a pass from Polk on the left side and put his shot in the right corner of the net to give the Orange a 1-0 lead. Syracuse continued to attack and finished the half with 10 shots, five of which were on frame.
Meanwhile, the Syracuse defense limited the Highlanders (1-2-0) to just three shots. Callahan played a key role on that side of the ball as well, breaking up several UC-Riverside possessions.
The Orange’s offense came alive in the second half. Syla started the scoring outburst in the 48th minute when his hard shot went through the hands of UC-Riverside goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi. Syracuse’s offense continued to press and it added to its advantage in the 60th minute on junior Oyvind Alseth’s (Trondheim, Norway) second goal of the season off an assist from Syla.
The Highlanders scored their only goal in the 62nd minute off a set piece. Romario Lomeli perfectly served his corner kick to the far post to a wide open Stephen Copley, who headed the ball into the corner of the net to cut Syracuse’s advantage to two.
That was as close as UC-Riverside would get as the Orange regained its three-goal lead in the 86th minute on senior Noah Rhynhart’s (Albany, N.Y.) goal on Polk’s second assist as Syracuse recorded its first four-goal performance since Oct. 21, 2014 against Bucknell.
The Orange outshot UC-Riverside, 17-10, which included a 9-5 advantage in shots on goal. Syracuse earned 11 corner kicks to five for the Highlanders. Freshman goalkeeper Austin Aviza (Medway, Mass.) made five saves for Syracuse, while Khosravi had four.
The Central New York Classic concludes on Sunday, Sept. 6 with the Orange taking on Rutgers at 7 p.m. at the Soccer Stadium. Admission is free.
1st 2nd Final
UC-Riverside 0 1 1
Syracuse 1 3 4
27:31 SU Liam Callahan (Ben Polk)
47:59 SU Korab Syla
59:39 SU Oyvind Alseth (Korab Syla)
61:13 UCR Stephen Copley (Romario Lomeli)
85:11 SU Noah Rhynhart (Ben Polk)
Shots: Syracuse 19, UC-Riverside 11
Corner Kicks: Syracuse 11, UC-Riverside 5
Saves: Syracuse 5 (Austin Aviza), UC-Riverside 4 (Ashkan Khosravi)
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