Women’s Soccer’s Tight Goalkeeping Battle is a Great Problem to Have

Wednesday, Sep 07, 2022 at 9:00 am by Sports Editor

By: Collin Davies | @DaviesCollin

CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter

Syracuse Women’s Soccer is off to its hottest start in Head Coach Nicky Adams’ tenure. The squad has already passed every season’s win total since 2018 with a 5-1 record. Much of the success this year can be attributed to the goalkeeping room.

In the past, Syracuse had an easy decision on who to start in the net. Lysianne Proulx was the obvious choice for each of the past three years before this. The Canadian National Team member started every game in her junior and senior season, and besides injury, was still the mainstay for her graduate year. In 2021, while the team really struggled with a 4-12-1 record, Proulx still played great. All four wins that SU had that season came off of her shutouts.

Now after 3 years the torch has been passed again, but the question now is, “to who?”. There are three choices for the Orange: Micheala Walsh, Shea Vanderbosch, and Sierra Giorgio. At this point in the season, Coach Adams has said, “it’s going to be a battle back and forth”.

Let’s look at option #1, Shea Vanderbosch. The freshman is the starter right now, and she has earned it. She stepped in for the second half in that 6-0 loss to UConn, and only let in one goal. After that game, she has only conceded one goal and saved 14 in the three-and-a-half games since. Vanderbosch appeared to be third in the depth chart preseason, and it only took herself two games to shoot up to the top. That is the sign of her capitalizing on the opportunity given to her.

Onward to choice #2, Michaela Walsh. The senior was the starter going into the season. Usually when it comes to goalkeeping, if you’re the starter, the position is yours to lose. Unfortunately for Walsh, she sustained an injury early in game two against UConn. Ever since then, Vanderbosch has played phenomenally and hasn’t given any reason to change things up. What the New Jersey native has that the rest of the position group doesn’t have is experience.

She has been in the program all four years and knows how to organize the team on the field to Coach Adams’ system. If Walsh has the opportunity to get back into games, her veteran mindset should grant her a steady presence.

The third keeper to choose from is Sierra Giorgio who started the season late because she was representing Canada in the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup. That is netminding experience at a professional level that goes a long way in development. Giorgio was behind Walsh in the depth chart until that UConn game. The Canadian let in 5 goals in the first half, which gave Vanderbosch her opportunity to shine in the second period of play.

The three goalkeepers all had their pivotal moments in the battle against the Huskies on August 21st. That goes to show that the depth chart could switch any way in just one game.

Coach Adam’s emphasized the tightness in talent in saying, “We have three very good goalkeepers just itching every single day, fighting for that spot.”

If a mix-up does happen, it will likely occur during ACC play, when the competition is higher, and the keepers are tested more throughout the games. Conference play is just nine days away, but first the Orange will travel to Binghamton tomorrow night at 7 p.m.