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Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Women’s Soccer Falls to Virginia 3-1

By Luke McGrath

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With Thursday’s 3-1 loss to 12th ranked Virginia, the Orange is in serious danger of seeing its season end without a spot in the ACC tournament, something that’s never been done in the programs five year run in the conference.

But Phil Wheddon’s squad is not dead yet. SU has to win its final two contests and get some help from the rest of the ACC. Of the 14 teams in the conference, there are only eight spots in the tournament with a lot of teams bunched up in the standings.

Coach Wheddon said there are nine teams on the ACC tournament bubble and they’re all anxiously awaiting their fate.

“Everyone’s checking Twitter and everything to see what the scores are,” Wheddon laughed.

The path for the Orange requires taking down the fourth ranked Blue Devils this Sunday at home and then beating Virginia Tech on the road the following Thursday.

Despite the loss Thursday night, sophomore defender Taylor Bennett explained that she believes her team can get the job done.

“It’s always disappointing when you don’t get the result you deserve, but I feel really proud of our team and I think we can keep improving from here and we can definitely work to get these next two results,” Bennett said.

Sophomore midfielder Georgia Allen, who scored the Orange’s only goal on Thursday, said you need to have the confidence that you can come out on top.

“You always have to believe that you have a chance no matter who you’re playing against, you have to have respect for your opponent, but you also have to believe in yourself,” Allen said.

Although the Orange is maintaining faith, Duke will enter Sunday’s matchup with a 15-1 record. Its only loss came in overtime to North Carolina, a team that beat SU 7-0 less than a month ago.

Syracuse’s chances of qualifying for the postseason are thin, but the team has made positive strides this season. Last season SU won just one ACC matchup and already has two in 2017 with a chance to build on that in the final two games.

The 2017 season is not over yet, but the future is bright for Coach Wheddon’s team. So far this season, underclassmen have accounted for 14 of the 17 goals scored.

Kickoff for Sunday’s contest versus the Blue Devils is set for 1 p.m. at the SU Soccer Stadium. All six SU seniors will be honored before kickoff.