Orange Open Adams Era With Win
By Tom Russo
CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
Whenever a new coach takes the reins of a Power 5 program, questions begin to swirl; Can they handle the pressure? Do they have what it takes to win at this level? And perhaps most critically, can they get the players to buy into their system?
The early returns seem to indicate that Nicky Adams has answered the third question with an affirmative. Syracuse (1-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) handed Adams her first win today with a 1-0 victory over Colgate (0-2, 0-0 Patriot League).
The deciding goal came in the 67th Minute, as Mackenzie Vlachos found redshirt sophomore Laurel Ness wide open near the top of the box. Ness took a touch and then unleashed a missile into the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.
“I was really excited,” Ness said of the goal post-game. “I’ve been waiting for this goal for two years now and I was really excited, the team was excited, the crowd was excited. We knew it was coming.”
Building up to the goal the Orange had multiple chances to strike first, but simple couldn’t seem to get the ball on frame despite taking 10 shots in the first half. But in the second half, Ness finally broke through.
Team captain, Georgia Allen, said Syracuse used the halftime break to settle themselves in for the second half, rather than continuing to miss opportunities.
“We said we’ve got another half, we’ve got time, there’s no need to rush things,” said Allen. “We don’t need to start playing long, play our game, play the way we know we can, and we knew the goal was coming.”
However, after the game much of the credit went back to Adams and her staff for setting the team up to succeed.
“It’s definitely been big,” Ness said of the coach’s new approach. “We were playing all defense last year and we can see now with how many shots that we were taking that it’s completely different. We finally have an attack and different people making different runs and I think that’s where it shows the most.”
“It’s been a while and our program’s gone through a lot of change,” said senior forward Sydney Brackett. “We responded in the best possible way. It makes me so excited because if we can do that today, we can do that tomorrow, we can do that Thursday, we can do that in ACC. Everybody contributed equally and we had the most amazing support and strategy from our staff which is incredible.”
As for Adams, she was thrilled not only with the win, but that the team has completely jumped on board to follow her lead.
“I’m just so proud of this entire team,” Adams said. “Honestly they have completely bought into what I’m doing. They believe in me, they trust in me, and they’re doing anything I ask.”
The challenge now; can the Orange prove this was not a one-off occurrence, and that this team can sustain wins? It doesn’t get any easier for Syracuse as they lose Allen to the English national team for the next few matches.
As for the rest of the roster, they have a Thursday night bout with Siena (0-2, 0-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic) on tap at 6:00 on August 29 from the SU Soccer Stadium.
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