Syracuse Women’s Soccer Preparing for Conference Play
By Jesse Cook
CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
All-ACC play lies ahead for the Syracuse women’s soccer team following a pair of scoreless matches, drawing with Cornell 0-0 Thursday night, Sept. 9, and falling at UConn 3-0 on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12.
The winless week drops the Orange to a 4-2-1 record as they look forward to the most challenging portion of the season.
Setting up against Notre Dame on Saturday night, the Syracuse squad faces a daunting uphill battle for the remainder of the season.
Syracuse has never defeated the Fighting Irish. Including their first match in 2002 at South Bend, they have played each other 13 times, drawing once in 2016 and losing 12 times.
Cuse, a team experiencing scoring problems this season, has only scored four goals against the Irish total. They have never scored more than one goal against them in a game, their last goal coming in 2018.
In 2021, the main offensive output for the Orange comes from Senior Midfielder Telly Vunipola and Freshman Midfielder Pauline Machtens, each scoring twice on the year.
Syracuse Head Coach Nicky Adams said that she feels that Machtens is incredibly well-suited to A.C.C.-play. She said, “You could tell off the bat that you were talking to someone who didn’t seem like she [Machtens] would be a freshman; very mature, very professional.”
She continued, “It’s the environment she grew up in. Having those great qualities early on in her freshman year has allowed her to continue to get better and better everyday. We’re excited about the future for Pauline.”
While Vunipola and Machtens carry the scoring title for the club, Senior Forward Meghan Root has sent the most shots with 27.
Root has not taken a shot against Notre Dame. The only Orange goal against Notre Dame in the 2018 5-1 loss arrived off the foot of ‘20 Midfielder Georgia Allen.
With Jenna Tivnan out of commission against the Big Red and the Huskies, Adams said wants to bring back some range back to her roster. She said, “We’re looking to have more depth going into A.C.C. play.”
“We have an entire midfield of freshmen, so to have a rotation would be beneficial,” she continued.
She called the A.C.C. the most difficult conference in all of college women’s soccer. After weeks of solely non-conference play, zero A.C.C. teams possess a record below .500. Miami holds last place in the A.C.C. at 3-3 and Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina, and Duke are all undefeated.
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