Syracuse women’s soccer final regular season game ends in a draw
Women's soccer closes regular season with draw
The Syracuse Orange women’s soccer team played their final regular season game — and likely final game of the year — against the NC State Wolfpack. After an early goal mere minutes into the game for Syracuse, the game was tied in the second half, and eventually ended with a 1-1 tie.
The Orange finished the year with a record of 8-7-3, finishing with a winning percentage above .500 for the first time since the 2012 season.
Being the final matchup of the year, Thursday night was also the last outing for graduate students Chelsea Domond, Jenna Tivnan and Blue Ellis. Tivnan led the team in minutes played for the season, was a vocal presence on defense and served as captain for the entire season. Domond was the team’s centerpiece on offense, consistently creating opportunities for both herself and her teammates.
“It was important that we brought in the right type of graduate students,” a teary-eyed head coach Nicky Thrasher Adams emphasized postgame. “Even though they weren’t at Syracuse very long, we knew that experience from whatever school they came from was going to be really important knowing that we were going to have mostly freshmen and sophomores.”
“The leadership and experience, when the going got tough I think they were so amazing to help the young ones ‘can’t put our heads down, got to put our heads down and keep digging.’ Those are unsung heroes. May not be a goal-scoring opportunity, but what they’re doing in the locker room is helping those young players and progressing the program like crazy,” said Adams.
Senior Michaela Walsh starred in the goalkeeper’s spot in her final game for the Orange. Walsh joined the Orange program the same year as Coach Adams, so seeing her close out was emotional for the coach.
“I’m so proud of Mic. [She] is an amazing human being,” Adams said. “I can’t say enough amazing things about her. I’m happy she was in goal tonight, finishing her career strong. She did a great job, managed the game really well, had some good saves, so I’m really proud that we at least got a point out of it for her.”
In the 4th minute, the Wolfpack committed a handball in an attempt to block a Syracuse goal off a corner kick. Resulting in an early penalty kick for the Orange, in which freshman defender Grace Gillard aimed high and right into the net for her first goal of the season.
Walsh notched her first save of the match in the 19th minute, stopping a NC State shot from Leyah Hall-Robinson, earning applause from her teammates on the bench and supporters in the stands.
Throughout the first half, the Orange had control of the ball in NC State’s final third. But good defense from the Wolfpack allowed for them to have lots of counter attack opportunities. The home defense held strong, however.
In the 54th minute, Ellis went down with an injury as the Orange attacked up the left side of the field. Coaches helped her walk off the field after play was whistled dead.
Ten minutes later, the Orange got their best look at the scrimmage yet as Pauline Matchens was open from the center of the field.
In the 70th minute, NC State Jamesee Joseph straddled the right baseline of Syracuse’s goal and put in a goal low and to the right. As she made her move, multiple Orange defenders motioned that the ball had rolled out of the bounds, and the sidelines were similarly unhappy with the lack of a call.
In the 89th minute, NC State player Fernanda Soto earned a yellow card ahead of an NC State corner kick
Syracuse made their final push of the season with 30 seconds left, resulting in a corner kick but the Orange could not attempt it before the time ran out.
The team looks to capitalize on the Orange’s success from this season. Adams is “super excited,” she said. “One spring last year, with all of our players, it was an opportunity to get where we are this fall. So the fact that we’ve only lost four players and get the majority of the team back for the spring, it’s only going to help us.:
“Recruiting is the name of the game, and we’re going strong and doing our best to bring in the most talented players to help our program,” she finished saying.
Syracuse has all but no chance to qualify for the ACC Tournament, but Thursday night still proved to be a night of celebration for Coach Adams and the group.
“They’re very much loved. They’re really good human beings. They’re family.”