Syracuse dominate Stags in the rain

Three Syracuse players scored to win their fourth match of the season.

Syracuse women’s soccer team dominated Fairfield in a 3-0 win on a wet Sunday afternoon at SU Soccer Stadium. This was the second game in a row that the Orange won by such a scoreline as the team improved to 4-1-1 on the season

Within three minutes, Syracuse grabbed control of the game when freshman forward Kate Donavan curled a strike over the Stag goalkeeper Megan Defeo. The goal marked Donavan’s third goal in two games. 

Head coach Phil Wheddon understands the importance of starting fast.

“An early goal is always good,” Wheddon said. “It settles nerves. It helps us to play a little bit easier.”

Easy was how it looked. The Orange controlled possession and dominated in all phases of the game. Defensively, Syracuse were ruthless in not allowing Fairfield any space in the attacking third, holding them to a single off-target shot in the first half of play.

Sophomore defender Taylor Bennett was the only Orange player to play the entire game, guiding the back line during the second shutout in as many games.

“I’m really proud of how we fought today and the last game that we played to be able to get both shutouts,” Bennett said.

It took just over 30 minutes for Syracuse to double their lead and consolidate their dominance. In the 31st minute, sophomore midfielder Carolin Bader headed into an empty net after a looping corner kick from defender Jessica Vigna found Bader unmarked at the back post. It was Bader’s first goal for the Orange.

The weather cleared up as the second half wore on but Syracuse continued to control the game. A couple of Fairfield chances came when forward Liz Dumas was able to run at defenders. Close marking by the Syracuse back line in those situations forced Dumas to do too much herself and led to easy stops for the Orange. 

In the 53rd minute, Syracuse put the game beyond doubt when a lazy clearance from Fairfield’s defense found an unmarked Sydney Brackett at the right corner of the box. The sophomore forward struck the ball first time and beat Defeo at the near post to make it 3-0. 

“I’m glad I didn’t take more than one touch,” Brackett said. “I think a defender would’ve come on me if I took more.”

Shortly after the third goal, the Orange took their senior goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan out of the game and gave an opportunity to freshman Lysianne Proulx. In all, 20 of the 23 players saw the field as Wheddon was given a chance to see what he has on his roster.

“Life is about opportunities,” Wheddon said. “Every player fights for playing time.”

It wasn’t all good news for Syracuse. One minute after senior midfielder Sheridan Street came on in the first half, she was tackled hard by a Fairfield defender and had to be carried off by training staff. Street was standing on the sidelines in crutches towards the end of the game.

When asked about it, Wheddon said there is no update and they are monitoring her day-to-day.

“It was a blow for us,” Wheddon said. “We were hoping she was going to provide a spark.”

Syracuse’s next game is against in-state rivals Colgate on Thursday September 7th at SU Soccer Stadium.

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