Nicky Adams’ Program Building Success is Showing this Season
By Collin Davies | @DaviesCollin
CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
Syracuse Women’s Soccer is off to its best season in head coach Nicky Adams’ tenure. The team has shown flashes of potential that they could belong as a top-ranked team. But for them, they haven’t played to it all the time, which is why they still find themselves far outside of being ranked.
This is still something that the program hasn’t been used to. The previous high win total for the Orange under Adams was four. Now they’ve doubled that this year. Adams has made decisions up until this season to build this program for the long run. Those choices have been a success.
The first part of building a program for Adams was maintaining the players that were still at Syracuse. It’s often tough for a new coach to come in and convince players to stay at the school. That’s because the coach that recruited them is gone, so the player and coach relationship are brand new. If the player was unhappy with anything, a coaching change is the best time to transfer. When Adams took over in 2019, she was able to keep nearly every player in the program.
Now in the fifth year since she was hired, the one player still remaining is Jenna Tivnan. Tivnan was one of those players thinking about transferring after the coaching change. She decided to stick around after meeting the new head coach for the first time.
“Nicky came onto campus and we all met her. I instantly knew that she was a coach that was going to make me the best I can be and believe in me,” Tivnan said.
That freshman outside back is now a graduate center back and the team captain. She was a cornerstone that Adams wanted to keep around five years in advance.
There is another graduate student at Syracuse that arrived in a very different manner. Forward Chelsea Domond transferred in after playing her previous four seasons at Northeastern. Her impact is the easiest to see with the naked eye this season. The constant goal-scoring and assisting has led her to the top of the team in both categories.
The forward that often comes in to replace Domond like on Sunday’s tie vs Virginia is Blue Ellis. Like Domond, Ellis was recruited to SU after playing four years at Vanderbilt. It’s not often that coaches can successfully recruit players after they’ve already played four seasons at another university, but that’s just another reason why Adams’ was chosen for the job.
While those three veteran impact players were important to stay and join the team, the rest of the program is now built around youth. The vast majority of the starting eleven for the Orange this season are underclassmen. This has created a core that can be built for two more seasons after this year. All these young players are able to learn from the veterans sprinkled around the squad, but also able to get the experience that can keep moving the program forward.
Nicky Adams has followed the “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” method when building up Syracuse’s Women’s Soccer. The youth in the team suggests that they’ll keep getting better even after the graduate students leave.
Syracuse hosts the Clemson Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m.