SU Women’s Soccer Program’s Resurgence Includes Many Contributors
By: Collin Davies | @DaviesCollin
CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
Syracuse Women’s Soccer is having its best season under Head Coach Nicky Adam’s tenure. The Orange are now 8-4 which already doubles Adam’s best win total in charge of this program. There isn’t just one reason for the program’s resurgence.
One of biggest reasons for success has been the team’s youth. The starting eleven for Syracuse most often finds itself with eight underclassmen. Graduate student Jenna Tivnan said the energy from the youngsters has been fantastic, lifting up the entire team. These girls have come into the program, all bringing different experiences, and weren’t molded by the program’s past seasons.
While the youth is important, there still needs to be veterans to steer the ship and guide them in the right direction. For Syracuse, they have that in their center back Tivnan and forward Chelsea Domond. The two graduate students have been mentors to the team, and make sure they are always doing the right thing. These two leaders don’t just talk to talk, but they walk the walk. Domond leads the team in goals and assists so far this season with a five and five. The forward’s effect on the game is clearly seen every time she is on the ball. She can make any defender miss and create opportunities for herself or teammates. As for Tivnan, she has been rock steady in the backline, as the defense has only allowed more than one goal twice this season. The talent that those two players show, gives the rest of the team confidence to trust everything that they say without hesitation.
Tivnan’s impact can be seen most on freshman center back partner, Grace Gillard. The British player has seamlessly stepped up her game to the Division 1 level. The veteran appearance that Gillard gives off can be attributed to her counterpart’s experience and mentorship.
The third reason for success is the goalkeeping from Shea Vanderbosch. At the beginning of the season, the freshman was looking at the being the third string keeper. All that changed in the 6-0 loss to UConn when Michaela Walsh was hurt, and Sierra Giorgio let in five goals. Goalkeeping usually favors more experienced players, but Vanderbosch has stepped in and exceeded all expectations. She bolsters 0.8 goals against per game, and an 84% save percentage. Vanderbosch was helped out by Tivnan picking up some of the leadership role out of the back.
The last major reason for the team’s success this season is the culture that Nicky Adams has created in the program. The “if you don’t want to ride bus, get off” mentality has gotten all the players to buy in from the jump. That balance is also found after tough losses with good performances. After 1-0 losses to Duke and UNC, Adams said that her team should be proud of the way they played and take the positives. As a result, this team believes they can compete with the best in the country and have done so.
Now for Syracuse to make a run at the NCAA Tournament, they are going to need to amplify their game even more. Next up they’ll play Boston College Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.