A Good Mindset: The Key to Beating UNC and Duke in the eyes of Stephanie deLaforcade

Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm by Sports Editor

By Trey Redfield

CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter

After starting the season 0-3 and not scoring a single goal, it is officially the halfway point of the season for the Syracuse women’s soccer team. Tomorrow, the Orange begin a three game stretch at home, first against top-ranked North Carolina and then fifth-ranked Duke on Sunday. 

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to interview Stephanie deLaforcade, a redshirt junior from East Lyme, CT, who notched an assist in their match last season against Duke. She has not started in a game this season, but has had the most opportunities to score. deLaforcade told me coming off the bench can be a huge advantage when she enters the game. 

“You get to see what’s happening on the field and what’s unfolding,” the forward said. “Coming off the bench, I have a goal in mind–and that is to attack.”

In the appearances she made, deLaforcade has done just that. During the game at Louisville, deLaforcade netted what looked to be the first goal of the season for the Orange, but was called back for an offside. Just four days later at Notre Dame, she set up the lone opportunity for the Orange to Meghan Root in the box off of Lysianne Proulx’s punt midway through the second half. That ended up being shut down by Notre Dame goalkeeper Mattie Interian. 

deLaforcade has made the right plays on the offensive side of the ball, but she said step one in creating those same opportunities in this week’s matches is to have the right mindset.

“We could look at this and say, ‘Oh, we’re afraid the number one team in the country is coming here. Then we got Duke who is in the top ten,’” she said. “Or, we can think of it as an opportunity… Nothing is better than upsetting the number one team in the country.” 

Those two opportunities will be served under the lights at SU Soccer Stadium. Even without fans in attendance, deLaforcade understands the circumstances, but knows people are watching at home.

“I really wish fans could be here because they bring such an atmosphere to the stadium,” deLaforcade mentioned. “I know that fans at home are watching, and I have friends and family watching. I know everyone else on the team does, too.” 

Ever since the Orange arrived to the ACC in 2013, the Orange have neither won nor tied a single game out of six total matchups against the Tar Heels. Move along Tobacco Road, and you get a similar story. In five matchups, the closest the Orange came to taking down the Blue Devils was a 2-2 draw back in 2013. 

After all, it is up to head coach Nicky Adams’ squad to flip the script. The Orange will look to take down the number one team in the country, North Carolina, at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

dwredfie@syr.edu | @Trey_Redfield