Syracuse (4-8-1, 0-4-0 ACC) had had to face a slew of ranked opponents over the past two weeks, before facing Louisville (6-5-1, 2-2-0 ACC) yesterday afternoon in the SU Soccer Stadium. It was a great chance to break out of their three-game slump and salvage what's left of the season, two games past the midseason point.
The Cardinals have had an up-and-down year in an attempt to find their identity as a unit. Three different players now have two goals on their stat sheets. Senior forward Casey Whitfield leads the way with two assists as well, for six points. Juniors Taylor Bucklin and Paige Brown have shared goalkeeping duties. They've combined for 49 saves and 11 goals allowed, with five clean sheets between them. The team is one win away from tying last year's total, but there's work to be done as they have yet to face the ranked portion of the conference.
Louisville sophomore forward Isabella Habuda joined the two goals club in the 13th minute of yesterday's match when she collected a pass from senior midfielder Aubrey Baker and beat Courtney Brosnan to the ball for the quick score. Would it be the wake-up call the Orange needed? They certainly became more aggressive after the ball went into the net. Syracuse had an eight-to-one advantage in corner kicks and five shots on goal, but they just could not capitalize on any of those chances. Brosnan was lights-out after Habuda's goal, giving the Orange plenty of time to do their part on offense. In the end, it was just not meant to be.
This season has seen so many Syracuse opportunities squandered. Brosnan has done a fantastic job between the pipes with nothing to show for it, save for the four wins. The team may have already missed their chance to vie for a conference title, but with six games left on the schedule, there's still time to work on getting all of the pieces right for both now and the future. They can also help ruin their ACC foes' chances to advance to the postseason.
- Isabella Habuda: 3 shots, 3 shots on-goal, 1 goal
- Taylor Bucklin: 5 saves
- Courtney Brosnan: 4 saves, 1 goal allowed
- Alex Lamontagne: 2 shots, 2 shots on-goal
The Orange will travel to South Bend, Indiana this Thursday to face Notre Dame (8-3-1, 1-3-0 ACC).