CARY, N.C. (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) –
Syracuse outlasted Creighton on Friday night in Cary, N.C., to advance to the NCAA National Championship for the first time in program history. The 3-2 victory brings Syracuse’s win total to 18, a program record for the Orange.
Levonte Johnson scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute on a cross in the box from Nathan Opoku. The Orange fought off three Creighton corners in the final four minutes to secure the win.
‘Cuse took a 1-0 lead with under ten minutes to play in the first half. Christian Curti’s first goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time. He found the back of the goal on a corner kick from sophomore Curt Cavlov at 36:06.
Creighton evened the match four minutes and 18 seconds into the second half when BIG EAST Player of the Year Duncan Mcguire scored for the Blue Jays. The Orange responded almost immediately when Opoku tallied his 10th goal of the season.
Creighton once again tied things up when Alfie Pope scored on a set piece in the 64th minute.
As the clock ticked, the two teams exchanged opportunities but it was the Orange who broke the stalemate for the final time with Johnson’s goal.
Syracuse goalkeeper Russell Shealy had an outstanding night in goal and made six saves in the win.
Syracuse advances to the College Cup final for the first time in school history and will face the winner of Pittsburgh/Indiana, which kicks off around 9 p.m. ET at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.