Murrell sparks Syracuse to victory over NJIT at Mayor’s Cup
To jump-start a sputtering offense, Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre called on sophomore defender Jordan Murrell in the first half of Friday night’s game against New Jersey Institute of Technology.
“Jordan, wake them up,” McIntyre shouted, shifting him to the offensive zone. “Let’s go Jordan. Let’s go.”
Murrell sparked the Orange (4-1) offense with a goal and an assist, helping the team to a 4-0 victory over the Highlanders (2-3) in at the Mayor’s Cup tournament in Oneonta, N.Y. Syracuse has already surpassed its win totals from the previous three seasons. SU will play St. Bonaventure (0-5) on Sunday at noon in its second and last game at the tournament.
Three goals in the second half sealed the win for SU, but Murrell’s goal in the first half set the tone.
With 5:28 left in the first half, he broke the team’s dry spell and put SU ahead 1-0 with a goal he struck from a cleared corner kick. In the second half, Murrell sent a corner kick of his own to fellow defender Skylar Thomas for another goal.
“He struck it cleanly both times and the goalkeeper didn’t have much of a chance,” McIntyre said after the game. “Credit NJIT for figuring out a way to stifle us for that long.”
But after Murrell’s goal and assist, the floodgates opened.
Tony Asante notched his team-leading fourth goal in the 80th minute from a spot-on pass by Louis Clark. Three minutes later, Nick Perea struck a powerful shot past diving NJIT goalkeeper Lars Maalen-Johansen for the team’s fourth score.
McIntyre’s plan to move Murrell up to join the offensive attack paid off.
“It took something different to beat these guys tonight,” McIntyre. “And once we figured it out, everyone starting chipping in.”
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