SU soccer teams set to open 2020 seasons this weekend

SU soccer kicks off seasons this weekend

Women's soccer looks to continue winning streak against Pitt; men's team hopes to live up to preseason predictions.
Published: September 17, 2020
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Meghan Root (24) fights for the ball during a game at the SU soccer stadium on Sept.15. Root looks to build on previous successful seasons in her junior year.

SU Women’s soccer head coach Nancy Adams’ already topsy-turvy year will enter a new phase tonight when her squad takes the field at 7 p.m. on the road against Pittsburgh.

Adams and her players are among those who have endured months of uncertainty while ACC officials determined if soccer and other fall sports would be played because of COVID-19 concerns.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” Adams said.

The Orange are looking to bounce back from last season’s 3-11-2 record last season despite a shorter season with five home and four away games. The first home game is slated for Oct. 15 against North Carolina.

“I want us to compete,” Adams said. “I also want us to enjoy it. The last time we were able to play was last October so I’m anxious to see us play,”

This season, Meghan Root looks to pick up where she left off. The junior forward tallied three goals along with two assists and eight points last season. The senior duo of Shannon Aviza and Clarke Brown will anchor the Orange defensively. Goalie Lysianne Proulx will aim to protect the net after starting all games last season and posting a .748 save percentage.

The roster also features 11 new players looking to make their mark this season, so Adams said the extra month before games has been beneficial.

“The extended preseason has really helped, especially with all the newcomers we have,” Adams said.

The Syracuse soccer team celebrates after scoring their third goal against Rhode Island during the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. Syracuse defeated Rhode Island 3-2.
SU Men's soccer players celebrate after scoring their third goal against Rhode Island during the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament last season.

Men’s soccer set to play a shortened season

The Syracuse men’s soccer season kicks off this  Saturday in an exhibition matchup against Virginia. The shortened season schedule has the Orange playing only six games against ACC opponents, plus one non-conference match against the Navy.

This summer, the team was forced to deal with challenges other teams don’t always face — getting players back on campus from around the world.

With some players unable to arrive in Syracuse as soon as others, head coach Ian McIntyre turned to Zoom workouts make the most of the unusual preseason.

And even though Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at SU Soccer Stadium is only a warm-up match, McIntyre said his squad is ready to be back on the pitch.

“As a group, we’re really excited by the chance to compete and do something that we all love,” McIntyre said. “Now we’re getting closer to put on the uniforms and represent Syracuse University.”

This year’s roster includes 14 returners and 14 newcomers. Leading the team will be senior Sondre Norheim, a defender from Norway who was named a preseason all-ACC selection, and Simon Triantafillou, a midfielder from Canada who is expected to be a big presence. The two combined for six goals and eight points last season to help the Orange to an 8-7-5 record.

In net will be junior Christian Miesch, who started all 17 games last season. Miesch recorded 51 saves with a .630 save percentage last year.

These three look to lead this young men’s soccer team into a competitive ACC conference.

“We’re just going to focus on each game,” Triantafillou said. “Our goal is to win the ACC championship and eventually the NCAA championship.”

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is a contributor for The NewsHouse and broadcast and digital journalism graduate student.