Men's Soccer

No. 7 Syracuse scores in 87th minute to pull away from Oregon State, 3-2

Todd Michalek | Contributing Photographer

In all but one game this season, No. 7 Syracuse has tied or won by a goal. Tuesday night at SU Soccer Stadium was no different.

Sixteen minutes before Syracuse hosted Oregon State, junior transfer Hugo Delhommelle lined up at the corner nearest to SU’s sideline and practiced taking corner kicks. He repeatedly sent crosses low and to the near post before returning to the bench.

More than two hours later and 86 minutes into a tie game, Delhommelle lined up behind the ball on the other side of the field for a corner kick. He kicked the ball with his right leg as John-Austin Ricks darted toward the near post. Ricks headed the ball toward the far post. An Oregon State defender charging in from the side tried to stop short but the ball bounced off his chest and into the back of the net.

Heading into the game, four of Syracuse’s five games had been decided in the final 10 minutes of regulation and Tuesday night’s contest proved no different as No. 7 Syracuse (4-0-2, 0-0-1 Atlantic Coast) downed Oregon State (2-4-0), 3-2, at SU Soccer Stadium.

“It’s all about fan entertainment,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre quipped.

On Aug. 25 against St. Louis, Tajon Buchanan scored the overtime game-winner. Two days later, freshman Petter Stangeland scored in the final minute to lock up a win against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. In the home opener against Princeton, Ricks sent in a volley from 30 yards out to secure a draw. And last Friday against Virginia, Hagman ripped an equalizer to salvage a point.

In the ninth minute of Tuesday’s game, Hendrik Hilpert called for the defenders to pressure the Oregon State attack. Loke Strenov ran down the middle of Syracuse’s defense unmarked and found Hassani Dotson down the left wing. He dribbled past Ricks before ripping a shot past Hilpert to give the Beavers a one-goal lead.

Six minutes later, Jonathan Hagman tied the game on SU’s only first-half shot. Oregon State’s 4-4-2 formation forced the Orange’s backline to bring the ball upfield since the majority of midfielders were shadowed.

“The game became physical,” McIntyre said. “It suited them, especially the first half. In the second half we reacted.”

Midfielders began to break free in the second half as forwards pushed more, disrupting OSU’s formation. After a penalty kick from Kamal Miller gave the Orange a one-goal lead, Oregon State responded with a free-kick equalizer from just outside the penalty area. In response, Delhommelle re-entered the game with an area of focus.

“We were looking forward to score on a set piece,” Delhommelle said. “At the end of the day it’s just simple. A cross, a header and we score.”

The Orange had worked on set-pieces the week leading up to Tuesday night and McIntyre mentioned how he had been looking for someone to make a play in the box. Ricks’ header off an Oregon State defender and into the back of the net marked the first time in 2017 that SU scored off a restart.

“It was going to come down to one little moment of brilliance,” McIntyre said. “Thankfully it was a Hugo service that was outstanding.”

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