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Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Women’s Soccer Shuts Out Fairfield 3-0

By Luke McGrath

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — After scoring her first two career goals Thursday night, freshman forward Kate Donovan picked up right where she left off Sunday afternoon, scoring in the third minute against Fairfield in her first career start.

On what appeared to be a broken play, Donovan’s failed cross left the ball idling on the edge of the box. The freshman forward bolted to the ball and got a kick off before any Stag defenders could, and let off a shot that curled just above the head of Fairfield goaltender Megan DeFeo.

Head coach Phil Wheddon said the early Donovan strike helped SU dominate the pace of the game.

“An early goal is always good, it settles nerves, it helps us to play a little bit easier,” Wheddon said. “I thought it was a great goal, and I thought when we scored we actually started to gain more momentum immediately, usually the other team comes back at you quite quickly.”

The advantage showed for the Orange, outshooting the Stags 12-4 on the day. Sunday’s strong offensive performance marked the fifth time SU has tallied double digit shots.

Although Donovan helped lead Syracuse to consecutive victories, Coach Wheddon said her spot in the starting lineup still has to be earned.

“We’ve got a week of training ahead, and you know it’s another opportunity for someone else to step up in training,” Wheddon said.

At the moment, it’s clear a lot of different players can produce for Wheddon’s club that is now 4-1-1 on the season.

Donovan scored her first career goal Thursday, but in the win over the Stags, sophomore midfielder Carolin Bader scored her first ever goal with the Orange.

The Munich, Germany native headed in a ball off a corner kick that was placed masterfully by senior defender Jessica Vigna. It was the second straight game the Orange has scored on a corner kick.

Coach Wheddon says scoring off set pieces is critical in winning games.

“It’s always good to score on set pieces, set pieces decide games and that’s at every level of the game,” Wheddon said. “You can have the best designed plays in the world, but if the service isn’t there it doesn’t matter.”

While the SU offense has come alive the last two contests, the defense has been just as spectacular. Goaltenders Courtney Brosnan and Lysianne Proulx have split time in each contest. The two have only needed to make two saves in the two shutouts, a testament to how solid SU’s defense has been.

Syracuse looks to secure its fifth win of the season Thursday when the it hosts Colgate in game three of SU’s seven game home stand. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.