2020 Syracuse Women’s Soccer Preview
By: Trey Redfield
CitrusTV’s Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – One conference win in 2019. The year before that? Zero. If you couldn’t tell already, the script has been the same the past few seasons for the Syracuse Women’s Soccer team–and it’s gone unchanged heading into 2020. ACC media members picked the Orange to finish dead last in the conference this season.
So even with all the unusual circumstances happening in the world, a 2020 season is on the horizon for the Orange. With a much shorter schedule, and against all odds, it is Syracuse against the world.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Syracuse will play nine all-conference games this year, including five at home with no fans in attendance. SU will face seven of their opponents from 2019, including 21-time National Champion North Carolina on October 15.
With a condensed season, head coach Nicky Adams will still have many key returning players, as well as new faces in the home whites. Junior forward Meghan Root returns to the Orange with much anticipation towards the 2020 season. The Arcade native led the Orange with three goals and eight points last season, along with co-leading the team in assists with two. She is easily my player to watch this season.
Lysianne Proulx will also be back for her senior season. The goalkeeper from Montreal was unreal last season, playing in every game and leading the ACC in both saves with ninety-six and saves per game with 5.05. The Canadian Wall is certainly my X-factor going into 2020.
With familiar faces come new ones, such as Alina Miagkova from Lipetsk, Russia. The defender comes over to the Empire State after one year with Central Michigan. Miagkova finished third on the Chippewas in both goals and points. She also has national team experience, appearing in three international friendlies for Russia.
The coaching staff for the Orange has also improved over the offseason. SU added assistant coach Brandon DeNoyer who spent the past two seasons at Richmond, helping the Spiders go from two wins in 2018 to seven in 2019. His impact was also shown in his home state, New York. DeNoyer served as the top assistant coach at Siena from 2011-16, helping the Saints win the 2015 MAAC Championship and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
With key returning players and new faces to keep an eye on, I have the Orange going 3-5-1 this season, finishing eleventh in the ACC and exceeding the expectations of critics. They’ll get wins against Miami, Boston College and at home against Pitt. Even with all the returning players for the Orange, the ACC is women’s soccer’s most dominant conference. SU faces conference powerhouses North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia, along with Louisville and Notre Dame on the road–both who defeated SU 3-0 last year. Even if they miss out on the ACC Tournament for yet another year, Coach Adams and company have the opportunity to surprise many.
Syracuse opens up on the road at Pittsburgh on Thursday night. The 2-0 Panthers are led by ACC Defensive Player of the Week, Kate McKay. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
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