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Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Women’s Soccer Notches Fifth Win Sunday Over Harvard

By Luke McGrath

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The non-conference schedule is over, and it’s all Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) opponents from here on out for SU after taking down Harvard 1-0 Sunday.

The Orange enters the new chapter of its season carrying a 5-2-1 record with a lot of positive signs, but also some things that need to be worked on.

Syracuse tied #21 Connecticut and lost to eighth ranked Florida 2-1, showing it can hang around with some of the best teams in the nation. However, SU also holds a 4-3 loss against a Colgate team that plays out of the Patriot League.

Defensively, head coach Phil Wheddon is concerned about giving opponents free scoring chances.

“Fouls in and around the top of the box are going to be very dangerous in the ACC play,” Wheddon said.

In Sunday’s win, the Orange committed nine fouls compared to the Crimson’s two.

Coach Wheddon also emphasized the importance of making smarter and quicker passes in the midfield, and taking fewer touches.

While there is room for improvement, there are many aspects of his squad that Coach Wheddon said he is pleased with, including his offensive unit.

“I think we’ve got multiple attacking threats and I think we’re more sophisticated in our final third, which is a credit to the players that we have and the seamless transition that we’ve seen from the freshmen,” Wheddon said.

The SU offense has outshot opponents 104-74 this season, but Wheddon said there needs to be more consistency in finishing gilt edged opportunities in order to be successful against stronger opponents.

“Those opportunities are the ones that are gonna make a difference, I’m really really comfortable with our team,” Wheddon said. “I’m really comfortable with a number of opportunities were creating in non-conference, but we do recognize that in the ACC there will be much fewer opportunities.”

The former assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s national teams said that in ACC, he anticipates the Orange’s shot totals to be cut in half.

Although SU still has a lot to work on, Wheddon said his players are very comfortable in the system they are playing.

Syracuse starts off the ACC schedule hosting Miami Friday at 7 p.m. in game six of the Orange’s seven game home stand.