"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Men’s soccer and Syracuse battle to a thrilling draw

Demon Deacons and Orange put up a goal apiece, WFU now 3-1-3 on season
Isabella Parolini
Sidney Paris (22) defends a Syracuse player during Saturday’s match. Paris scored Wake Forest’s only goal on a penalty kick in the 74th minute.

In a highly anticipated, Saturday night showdown that had fans on the edge of their seats, Wake Forest and Syracuse University played to an exhilarating draw. The crowd at Spry Stadium got to witness moments of intense action and dramatic twists that left spectators on both sides breathless.

The match began with Syracuse taking the kickoff, showing its determination to maintain a 19-game unbeaten streak. The Orange controlled the ball with precision, displaying the skills that come with being reigning champions. Wake Forest, on the other hand, was eager to put an end to Syracuse’s remarkable run and secure three crucial points.

The excitement started immediately when Syracuse’s Lorenzo Boselli, received a yellow card within the first minute of the game for a foul against Wake Forest forward Roald Mitchell.

The real fireworks came just moments later, when the Orange’s Noah Singleman passed to teammate Nicholos Kaloukian on the edge of the box. Kaloukian seized the opportunity and delivered a spectacular goal that ricocheted off the post before finding the back of the net. A mere two minutes into the match, Syracuse was already celebrating its early lead.

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After the swift goal, the Demon Deacons Seemed to struggle to regain their footingthe team consistently lost possession and looked startled.  

Wake Forest wasn’t about to give up. In the ninth minute, Mitchell’s pass to Colin Thomas gave Wake Forest hope, but Thomas’s shot veered wide, narrowly missing the left corner. This was the first of many near misses. In the 23rd minute, Jahlane Forbes struck the post with a remarkable volley, and the ball was just inches away from Cooper Flax, who extended his foot for a rebound. This was the closest they had come to scoring yet. In the 24th minute, a disallowed tap-in goal by Prince Amponsah added to the disappointment of the home crowd. Wake Forest did not get on the board in the first half and started the second half down by one.

Wake Forest started the second half with a renewed sense of purpose and another near goal. In the 72nd minute, Hosei Kijima delivered a through-ball to Flax, whose shot went straight into the hands of the Syracuse goalkeeper — yet another missed opportunity for Wake Forest.

Then, Wake Forest junior Sidney Paris dribbled past one defender and passed the ball to Leo Guarino, who threaded the ball back to Paris amidst a cluster of Syracuse defenders. Opposing defender Mikina brought down Paris in the box, and the referee awarded Wake Forest a much-deserved penalty, despite objections from the opposing side. After reviewing the footage, the referee stood with his original decision.  

Paris stepped up to take the penalty, and the only thing standing between the Demon Deacons and a tie game was Syracuse’s goalkeeper, Jason Smith. Paris unleashed a powerful left-footed shot into the left side of the net, while Smith dove in the opposite direction.

The Demon Deacons erupted in celebration, and the team joined the crowd in the stands. Eagerly awaiting this moment, the crowd came together with the team and raised their voices in a chorus of cheers and chants of “Wake! Forest!” 

The stage was set for a thrilling final 15 minutes as Wake Forest, fueled by the electric atmosphere, seized control from the orange-clad Syracuse players.

With just about two minutes left on the clock, Liam O’ Gara managed to get a shot off, but it landed safely in the hands of the Syracuse goalkeeper. Wake Forest continued to create chances in a last-ditch effort to secure the victory, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. 

Despite being awarded three corner kicks in the closing moments of the game, Wake Forest’s crosses into the box proved futile. Paris, who had come to the rescue for the Demon Deacons earlier, even attempted a bicycle kick in the dying seconds, but it was caught by the goalkeeper as the final whistle blew, cementing the draw.

Wake Forest’s (3-1-3) next match is set for Tuesday, Sept. 19 against Liberty (5-1). The home match at Spry Stadium will begin at 7 p.m.

Correction Sept. 19: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the author’s position in the Old Gold & Black. That error has been corrected.

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