MSOC : Schomaker’s hat trick vaults Orange in slick conditions
Spencer Schomaker stood in the warm confines of Manley Field House, fresh off the best game of his career and still soaked from the rain that had drizzled down during the Syracuse men’s soccer game against Adelphi Tuesday night.
He had not changed out of his jersey or shorts, but he was in no hurry to. Neither the rain nor Adelphi had slowed him down. And he could finally reflect on what had just transpired – his three-goal outburst – without having to worry about the rain.
‘I’d say this definitely was (my best collegiate game) goal-wise,’ Schomaker said. ‘It’s good, it’s a good feeling.’
Schomaker single-handedly propelled Syracuse to victory, netting the first hat trick of his career to lead SU over Adelphi, 3-2, Tuesday. Schomaker became the first Syracuse player to tally three goals since Kirk Johnson in 2001.
In the process, Syracuse (7-4-3, 3-4-1 Big East) completed its third straight non-conference slate without a loss. Syracuse has not lost in its last 20 non-conference games, second in the nation to Wake Forest.
With the game tied at 2 and the rain continually falling, Schomaker received a pass from Hansen Woodruff about 20 yards from the goal with 14 minutes remaining in regulation. Schomaker let it rip. The soccer ball traveled on a laseresque path, hit the top of the crossbar and crossed the goal line to give SU the lead.
While rain caused players to slip all over the place and work harder to control the ball, the conditions couldn’t slow Schomaker. The senior had 17 career points and five goals coming into the contest, but there was no doubt who the catalyst was for Syracuse on this night. Schomaker had four shots on goal, one more than the rest of the team combined.
SU head coach Dean Foti had a simple explanation for the performance.
‘It must be that Seattle weather,’ Foti said, in reference to Schomaker’s hometown. ‘Three great goals, and they were all timely, too. They were goals that were important goals, and in this type of weather you have to make plays and you gotta be mentally tough enough to get through it, because the game’s going to take a lot of crazy turns and they are all unexpected.’
One of those ‘crazy turns’ was Rob Cavicchia not making a save. Adelphi (9-5) fired two shots and both beat the senior goalkeeper. The Panthers tallied the game’s first goal in the 11th minute, when Patrick Figueiredo scored from the top-left of the box. John Koutsounadis scored the second unassisted in the 63rd minute.
But Schomaker answered. His cross-body shot to the bottom-left of the goal in the 27th minute tied the game. He gave SU the lead in the 61st minute with his second goal before Adelphi tied the game two minutes later.
‘We let them have that first goal quick but, like I stressed, we could not lose this game,’ Schomaker said. ‘It just goes to show you can’t let an early goal get to you and not let the other team get the momentum …We didn’t let it get to us.’
For the most part. With the slippery conditions, players often got tangled up and emotions flared. Early in the second half, Woodruff received a yellow card after shoving one of the Panthers’ players. Adelphi’s Mark Hoffman received a red card in the second half, and Pete Rowley received a yellow card for Syracuse, too.
Karol Wasielewski got into it as well. After a collision between him and Stephen Fregosi, the two came toe-to-toe and stared each other down. Talk sputtered back and forth, and then Wasielewski lowered his hand in mocking reference to Fregosi’s shorter stature.
‘That was just a hard game, and we gotta keep it up at the same level,’ Wasielewski said. ‘We were completely cool. I know we got a couple yellow cards but we’re completely cool. They just lost control.’
It all added up to Syracuse’s first victory this season in which it allowed two goals in a game.
And the Orange had Schomaker to thank.
‘I mean (the hat trick is) definitely one of the best feelings you can have,’ Schomaker said. ‘I mean just trying to work as hard as I can and definitely at the end of the game it feels great to get it done. And better yet, it feels good to win.’
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