Women's soccer tie No. 14 Connecticut, remain undefeated

This was their first home game of the 2017 season.

Syracuse women’s soccer tied Connecticut 1-1 after double overtime in their home opener at SU Soccer Stadium on Monday night.

It took until the second half for the deadlock to be broken when Syracuse forward Alex Lamontagne scored on a rebound from her own shot. Winger Eva Gordon found Sheridan Street with her back to goal in the box who looped it to Lamontagne six yards from goal. UConn goalkeeper Mollie Kerrigan came out quickly to smother Lamontagne’s first shot, but she wasted no time dispatching the second effort.

“I don’t remember much,” Lamontagne said of the goal. “I just tried to blast it in right past her. It’s gotta go in somehow.”

Four minutes after going up, the Syracuse defense was unlocked by a quick break from UConn to tie the game at 1-1. Midfielder Tanya Altrui found some space on the left before playing in an advancing Zoe Steck on the left side of the box, who slotted it under SU goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan.

Brosnan was otherwise unbeatable. The senior, who recently became a team captain, produced a series of saves throughout the match including a dramatic one-handed diving save during a sequence of pressure in the first half of overtime.

“Got to do anything I can to keep the ball out of the net,” Brosnan said. “Help my team win the game.”

The Orange weren’t able to find a winning goal, but Brosnan’s nine saves helped ensure a tie.

UConn had success in the wide areas thanks to their speed. Kim Urbanek and Altrui in particular found themselves in a lot of space as the game wore on.

This was in part to the tactical reliance of Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon’s system on his wing-backs. Seniors Alana O’Neil and Eva Gordon played the majority of the game out wide and it showed in the first overtime period when UConn put the Orange under significant pressure from wide areas.

“Our players know that they’re going to have to make that run; that 60-yard run five, six times a game,” Wheddon said. “When you play against a team that stretches you, the way UConn did, at times you’re required to do that a little bit more.”

It's the third time the Syracuse women have tied a ranked team since the start of last season. They tied No. 20 Notre Dame and No.2 Florida State in ACC play last year.

“To not lose is one thing,” Wheddon said. “But we’re gutted because we didn’t win.”

Syracuse next play at Army West Point on Aug. 24.

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