Women's soccer win second ACC game after weathering the Hurricane storm

Syracuse eclipsed their ACC win total from last season with four games remaining.

Syracuse women’s soccer was no match for the wet weather and the University of Miami Hurricanes as they won 1-0 on Wednesday.

Miami took control of the ball from the beginning. However, that didn’t stop SU from defending heavily. Miami had multiple passes going through the middle, but it served no challenge for the Orange.

Syracuse forward Alex Lamontagne said both teams needed to adjust to maintain control of the ball, but overall she was satisfied with the way SU played.

“Just getting our first touch right and make sure we’re setting our feet first for everything to make sure we’re not slipping up on the ball,” Lamontagne said. “I think our team did a really good job adjusting to it and just keeping the ball on the ground and playing with our feet.”

After 21 minutes of play, Syracuse defender Taylor Bennett drove the ball to about 40 yards outside the box. With no pressure on her, she took a shot on goal. Hurricanes goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce tipped it right over her head and the shot hit the back of the net, putting the Orange up 1-0.

Syracuse coach Phil Wheddon said he talked to his team about taking more shots on goal and taking their opportunities. He said Bennett is known for being able to strike a ball from a long way out of the box.

“Every now and again you get a break, and it was a great shot and forced the goalkeeper into a mistake,” Wheddon said. “It doesn’t matter where goals come from, I’m happy when the ball goes in the back of the net so the fact that it came from a defender.”

Following Bennett’s goal from distance, Miami turned the pressure on and did their best to force turnovers by SU defenders. Miami forward Ronnie Johnson had a shot on goal to end the first half.

Ending the first half, the Orange had five shots on goal, meanwhile the Hurricanes only had three.

Coming out of the locker room, the Orange defended heavily to keep the Hurricanes from driving into the box. In the 48th minute, Johnson had two shots back to back, both which were shot wide and high of the net.

Orange goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan said Miami’s offense put Syracuse’s defense under pressure, but that was no challenge for the back line.

“Obviously it only takes 1 to 10 seconds for something to happen where Miami can break free and get a really good opportunity,” Brosnan said.

Both teams had multiple opportunities, serving balls deep in the back to play them forward. Lamontagne had solid control of the ball to start off the half.

Lamontagne had a few big chances in the second half, with all three of her shots coming in the final 45 minutes.

“I had a few defenders chasing after me so I didn’t want to take too many touches. I tried to release the ball as early as possible to catch the goalie off guard,” Lamontagne said. “She made a really good save, so there’s nothing more I can do about it.”

Lamontagne said her and Wheddon work extensively in practice on one against one play to try to get her more shots. She said her biggest concern was making sure she was shooting on frame and not hitting her shots wide.

Brosnan said even though Miami’s offense was making the Syracuse defense work harder in the second half, SU was able to hold them off.

“I give a lot of credit to the defense, I think we made a lot of adjustments in the end there and we really, they really limited the chances they had on me,” Brosnan said.

As the Orange got their second ACC win of the season, Coach Wheddon said with only a few games remaining, every game counts.

“As we move forward, every team poses a new problem for us. Every team plays slightly differently, they have different personnel, their structure is a little bit different,” Wheddon said. “So we’re going to have to be a little bit more composed when we play NC State. From now on, we have to keep learning lessons in every game that way we play and improve as we move forward.”

This win marked the Orange’s second win in conference play, while the Hurricanes are still searching for their first ACC win.

Syracuse travels to North Carolina State for another ACC match on Oct. 14.

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