More Than Just the Result for Syracuse Women’s Soccer
By Trey Redfield
CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
It was Thursday night when Syracuse Women’s Soccer made the trip down to Ambrose Urbanic Field in Pittsburgh to kick off their 2020 season. The Panthers were simply too much for the Orange. Pitt outshot Syracuse 27-4, more than doubled their corner kick opportunities, and had a firm grasp on the time of possession. All culminating in a 2-0 defeat for the Orange.
But for Orange head coach Nicky Adams, it was all about being able to play in uncertain times.
“It was an unfortunate result, but it felt so good to be back on the field [Thursday Night],” the second year head coach said. “I thought we had some first-game jitters, especially with so many newcomers.”
First-game jitters or not, being nervous to dress in Syracuse orange is not the only thing to think about this year. This is a season that was supposed to be played in the spring, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Missouri Valley, Southland, Southeastern Conference, Sun Belt, Big Sky, and the Atlantic Coast Conference — minus NC State due to opt-outs and injuries — are the six sole conferences competing this season. For the other conferences across the country, they will compete in the spring of 2021, with the Women’s College Cup wrapping up on May 17. With all that in mind, the Orange are one of the few to be seeing action in 2020.
But with Syracuse taking the pitch in 2020, they are still fighting on, with not just their play, but their voice.
Last Thursday night, in solidarity to the social justice movement across the country, the Orange took the field wearing black warm-up jerseys that read “I CAN’T BREATHE.” The entire squad, including Coach Adams and her assistants took a knee during the national anthem and both teams knelt with a moment of silence right before kickoff. Along with this, the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice’s (CORE) Unity Statement was read by Pitt’s public address announcer:
“We, the ACC, are committed to seeing each other as equals and treating each other with respect and dignity at all times; recognizing that our differences don’t divide us, but they make us stronger.”
This is not the only time the Orange will hear this. The message will be read before every league matchup. Along with this, student-athletes, athletic department, and ACC staff members must attend an annual training centered around diversity and inclusion. An initiative that was approved by the conference’s fifteen athletic directors, including Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack; this year’s training is focused on anti-racism.
So as the season rolls on, Syracuse Women’s Soccer will continue to use their voice. Whether it be on the road or at SU Soccer Stadium, their conference-only schedule will include opponents not only being glad to have the opportunity to play under the lights in 2020, but opponents that are fighting the same fight as the Orange.
Coach Adams’ bunch have a while until they’re back in action. They will open the month of October at Louisville next Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 o’clock.
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