MSOC : Woodruff’s golden goal sends Syracuse over Hartwick in OT
With two minutes left in the first overtime period, Kyle Hall ripped a shot that appeared to find the right corner of the net for the game-winner. Naturally, Syracuse fans erupted.
Unfortunately, from the stands they could not see the ball missed wide right and the game continued.
Fortunately, though, they could cheer a few minutes later in the second overtime, when Hansen Woodruff came through in the clutch.
Syracuse men’s soccer edged Hartwick, 1-0, in double-overtime Tuesday at Syracuse Soccer Stadium in front of 492. The Orange has not allowed a goal in consecutive games and halted a high-scoring Hartwick (6-7-2) team all evening.
Syracuse (6-6-1, 1-6-1 Big East) finished the non-conference schedule undefeated, outscoring its opponents 10-3 in five games.
Woodruff’s game-winner came with 4:32 remaining in the second overtime off a cross by Hall. The play started with Luis Martinez in the defensive zone leading Hall on a pass along the right sideline. Hall beat his man and crossed the ball off the side of his foot. The pass found a sliding Woodruff right in front of the net.
‘I was just telling myself if I get one more chance I’m going to put it away,’ Woodruff said. ‘Kyle put a perfect ball right there and I just put my toe on the end of it.’
The goal came after nearly 106 minutes of gritty, hard-hitting play that sent several players on both teams to the sidelines with injuries.
Syracuse forward Spencer Schomaker was banged up after leaping for a header with in the first half but returned in the second half. Hartwick had two injured starters, including its starting goalie who later returned.
Despite the physical play, Syracuse maintained its composure and contained a Hartwick squad that came in averaging almost two goals per game. Hartwick returned 10 starters from a team that won 16 games and earned an NCAA Tournament bid last season.
Syracuse knew the opponent had firepower, and it needed execution to stop Hartwick.
‘Today we definitely sharpened up on individual defending and as a team,’ SU defender Brad Peetoom said. ‘There was an overall sense that we have to be better defensively and that was apparent I think today.’
Head coach Dean Foti said the defense paid particular attention to Hartwick’s top scorers, but also focused on 5-foot-6 sophomore forward John Paul Boyle.
‘In my mind, he’s the most dangerous guy on the field,’ Foti said. ‘He has a way of showing up in good spots and is very dangerous and good with his feet. He created some problems for us.’
Boyle had several open looks during regulation, including back-to-back missed shots on goal early in the second half. And with seven seconds left in the second half, he was left wide open in the center of the box but his header missed right.
Other than Boyle, Hartwick rarely had a decent look at the net. The Hawks attempted only 11 shots, forcing goalie Rob Cavicchia to make three saves for his third shutout.
Since a four-goal defensive collapse against Louisville on Oct. 1, the Orange has not allowed a goal and has earned two victories. Foti said he made it clear after the loss to the Cardinals that his team was not going to win games if it played that way.
‘We said after the Louisville game that we’ve got to stop the deluge of goals,’ Foti said. ‘You can’t give up four goals and expect to win. You’ve got to get shutouts and that’s what we’re working towards.’
For the second straight game, the defense answered that call and kept SU in the game. Woodruff’s toe did the rest.
‘We knew they were going to be rough,’ Cavicchia said. ‘They’re a physical team and I think we handled it pretty well, we grinded it to the end. We got the goal we needed.’
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