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Men’s Soccer Suffers Narrow Loss Against No. 1 Syracuse

By Vince Gasparini | September 8, 2023

The University at Albany men’s soccer team collected their second loss of the season on Monday with a 1-0 defeat against the defending national champions and No. 1 ranked Syracuse Orange. Syracuse outshot UAlbany 14-5 in the loss, with only three of their shots being on target, and five of UAlbany’s shots coming from bench players. The Orange controlled 64% of the total game possession.

From left to right: Shafique Wilson and Piet Wesling.

Photo Credit: Bruce Dudek

The Great Danes came into the game 1-0-1 against the Orange since upsetting their No. 3 ranked squad 2-1 in the 2016 season.

Both teams began the game putting immense pressure on each other. The Great Danes and the Orange were each called offsides twice within the first 11 minutes. The first shot attempt from Syracuse came in the eighth minute of the game, but their first on goal attempt didn’t come until the 16th minute, where UAlbany goalkeeper Shafique Wilson made the save to keep the game at 0-0.

UAlbany’s first shot of the game didn’t come until the 27th minute, where junior defenseman Lucas Watt took a shot on goal. Syracuse goalkeeper Jahiem Wickham made the low save for the Orange, keeping the game scoreless.

The first and only goal of the game wouldn’t come until after halftime in the 51st minute. Syracuse’s offense found a gap in the UAlbany defense, leading to Gabriel Mikina scoring for the Orange, assisted by Jeorgio Kocevski.

UAlbany was unable to capitalize on corner kicks taken in the 84th and 90th minutes of the game. Syracuse held on for the 1-0 win, bringing UAlbany to a 2-2 record.

“We competed really well tonight,” said UAlbany Head Coach Trevor Gorman. Despite the loss, he looked to put a positive spin on the road trip. “Syracuse is a top-level team that forces you to play at that same level. Our guys got better from this game and showed what they're capable of.”

The Great Danes will play their next match at home against the Marist Red Foxes on September 8.


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