Duke handles Syracuse women’s soccer in ACC opener
SU women's soccer toppled by Duke
The Syracuse women’s soccer team was comfortably beaten, 4-0, by No. 13 Duke at a sweltering Syracuse Soccer Stadium on Sunday. It was each team’s first game in the ACC as the Blue Devils improved their winning streak to six games, while Syracuse dropped its fourth game in a row.
The early portion of the match did not foreshadow a lopsided score. Syracuse hung with Duke for the early portion of the match, maintaining good possession and dictating the tempo of the game.
“In the first 30 minutes, I felt quite comfortable,” Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon said.
Around the 30-minute mark, however, the visitors showed why they are ranked among the top-15 squads in the country, for the Blue Devils tactically and technically wrestled control of the game away from the Orange.
When the 34th minute goal by senior midfielder Taylor Racioppu was tapped into an almost empty net, it gave the Blue Devils the advantage they needed to further dominate.
Six minutes after the first goal went in, the Blue Devils doubled their lead. A quick counter initiated by Emma Carlson gave Marykate McGuire space on the wing. The freshman forward cut inside against a backtracking Shannon Aviza and curled it past a helpless Lysianne Proulx.
“We got to leave this behind us and just move forward,” Proulx said.
For the remaining five minutes of the first half and then most of the second, the Blue Devils continued to pressure the Orange. Senior Duke forward Kayla McCoy consistently caused problems for the Syracuse back line by running the channels and creating chances.
In the 55th minute, after forcing a goal-saving tackle from Syracuse’s freshman defender Jenna Tivnan, McCoy drove a low and straight corner right into the box for Lily Nabet to bundle in for a third goal for Duke.
McCoy then managed to get on the scoresheet herself in the 71st minute with a flick in at the near post off another corner, taken this time by Karlie Paschall. The goal by McCoy capped off an excellent afternoon for the senior.
“She’s a really good player,” Tivnan said.
The Orange tried to fight at the end by creating a couple of chances but could not find the net. Syracuse recorded just three shots all game, one of which was on goal. The heat coupled with a rash of recent injuries made it difficult for Syracuse to match Duke over the whole 90 minutes.
Another injury occurred during the game with Orange forward and leading scorer Kate Hostage taken off with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Wheddon said after the game that Hostage was receiving x-rays, and she is unlikely to appear when Syracuse faces a three-game road trip starting with Boston College on September 20.
“Right now, we’re not athletically capable of sustaining our performance,” Wheddon said. “It’s a challenge to keep a consistent line-up.”