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Sunday, Sep 29, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Syracuse Defense Shows Progress Against No. 6 Florida State

By Tom Russo

CitrusTV Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter

The last time Syracuse (2-6-2, 0-2-1 Atlantic Coast) was on the pitch; it took 35 seconds for the Orange to yield a goal to No. 22 Louisville (9-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast). On Sunday it took 73 minutes before Syracuse let No. 6 Florida State (9-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) get on the board when Deyna Castellanos found the back of the net for her seventh goal of the year.

It was certainly not for lack of effort by the Seminoles, who fired 23 shots, the second most the Orange have faced all season. But the renewed defensive emphasis by head coach Nicky Adams led to only nine of those shots getting on target.

“I wanted to get back to our roots, from Friday to today,” said Adams. “I felt like on Friday, the lack of energy we had was very disappointing, we didn’t have that grit, and it’s something we had pretty much the whole game today.”

It also helped that, unlike Friday, Syracuse executed its defensive game plan well.

“I thought our game plan was decent,” said Adams. “We tried to keep them in front of us. The one time they slipped through is the time they scored.”

The team reported the difference also came from a much better job of communicating, which originated from the backline with junior goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx, who made eight saves, her second-highest save total this season.

“Our communication was really good today,” said senior midfielder Georgia Allen. “We know what it takes to communicate, to stay together as a team against one of the best teams in the nation. I’m very proud of our defensive performance today.”

“This has been our best game so far communicating,” said sophomore back Jenna Tivnan. “Communicating, picking up players, we were working really hard on picking up players, and I thought it was really good today.”

Moreover, both players and coach were thrilled with the performance of Proulx.

“Oh my God, she was amazing today,” said Tivnan of Proulx. “She is probably one of the best goalkeepers I have ever played with or against. At practice, she stops every single shot. She played amazing today, and she really stepped up her communication as well.”

“She’s fantastic,” said Allen of Proulx. “She’s a very positive player, but she doesn’t get spooked, she’s confident in her ability, and that showed today. She’s commanding in her net. She talks to us well, and props to her for a brilliant performance.”

“Lys played great,” said Adams. “She made the saves she was supposed to make. Lys is a leader for our team, and we look at her from the back to make sure that our backline is doing their job and then further up on the field.”

Proulx, though, was very modest in talking about her performance, preferably pointing to her teammates for their success.

“I’m in the back, I can see the whole field, so it’s my job to make sure everyone is where they need to be, everyone knows where everyone is around them,” said Proulx. “But obviously it’s a team sport, we’re all there for each other. There were some goals; I wasn’t even there to save it; my teammates saved it for me. We all help each other. They help me; I help them. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”

Syracuse will now look to build on this performance when they hit the road on Friday at seven o’clock to visit South Bend for a matchup with Notre Dame (7-4, 1-2 Atlantic coast).

twrusso@syr.edu  ǀ @TomRusso24