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Syracuse Women's Soccer: 2015 Orange Season Preview

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After a strong spring season showing, the Orange look to rebound from a tough five-win fall.

Syracuse Women's Soccer Official Twitter Account

In the wake of a Women's World Cup for the ages in which the U.S. came out on-top for the first time since 1999, four cups ago, it's about time that we drew more attention to our own women's soccer team here at Syracuse. Let's start by looking at 2014, shall we?

2014 Season In Review

Record: 5-10-4 (2-7-1, ACC)

The Orange began the season with a two game set in University Park, Penn. in the Penn State Invitational in which they ended in a tie against Missouri and lost 0-2 to host Penn State. It was a good way to test the waters, as Penn State was ranked No. 24 at the time. They then headed back to New York to face Albany at Albany and UConn in their first home game of the season. The ladies handily beat Albany 5-1, with Stephanie Skilton scoring twice, before tying UConn 1-1. In their second tournament of the season, Skilton led the way again with two goals as the team crushed UMass-Lowell 4-0 and then secured a 3-2 win over the University of Vermont. With a 3-1-2 record to start the season, it seemed as though the Orange might be on the upswing of things. Unfortunately, the would go on to only win two more games, against Miami and Boston College, the rest of the way. In that game versus BC, Alana O'Neil scored twice to lead the squad to a 3-0 victory.

Key Players:

Stephanie Skilton, a sophomore from Aukland in New Zealand, scored eight goals, and had two assists leading to 18 points. She had 33 shots, 20 of them on goal.

Junior Maya Pitts scored three goals and had four assists for 10 points. Pitts had 28 shots and 19 shots on goal.

Alex Lamontagne, a freshman, scored three goals and had two assists for eight points. She had 27 shots and 11 were on goal.

Syracuse used two goalies last year, as freshman Courtney Brosnan was sidelined with an injury to start the season. In her place, MacKenzie Moranz played the first eight games of the season and had nine goals scored on her and 34 saves for a 1.02 goals against average and a .791 save percentage. Moranz's record was 3-2-3. Brosnan started the final 11 games of the season, allowing 17 goals and saving 68 for a 1.51 goals against average and .800 save percentage. Her final record was 2-8-1.

End-of-Season Awards:

Courtney Brosnan received ACC All-Freshman team honors, the first in program history. Taylor Haenlin and Brosnan were named to the ACC All-Academic team. It was the second time Haenlin had been awarded with a selection. Finally, the entire team received the 'Cuse Award for Community Service for their work with children from the Latin School and for hosting the Kicks4Kids program last fall.

2015 Spring Season

The team had one of the most successful springs in recent history, according to head coach Phil Weddon. Syracuse went undefeated with wins over Grand Valley State, Colgate, and Binghamton, while also ending in a 0-0 tie against Buffalo. They also defeated Colgate and Binghamton in a 7v7 split-squad scrimmage at the end of February. Their most impressive win came on April 18 when they faced Colgate and won 5-1. In that game, five different Orange players scored.

A Look Ahead at the 2015 Fall Season

Schedule:

August 21: at UMass-Amherst

August 23: at Providence

August 28: vs. St. John's

August 30: vs. Albany

Sept. 3: at UConn

Sept. 6: at Buffalo

Sept. 11: vs. Cornell

Sept. 17: vs. Drexel

Sept. 20: at Virginia*

Sept. 24: at North Carolina*

Sept. 27: at Virginia Tech*

Oct. 4: vs. Louisville*

Oct. 8: at Notre Dame*

Oct. 11: @ Pitt*

Oct. 18: vs. NC State*

Oct. 22: vs. Miami (FL)*

Oct. 25: vs. Wake Forest*

Oct. 31: vs. Clemson*

(*) denotes games against ACC opponents.

Incoming Freshman:

Hannah Specht - midfielder; West Chester, PA/West Chester East High School

Specht earned first-team all Ches-Mont League honors as a senior with 12 goals and 12 assists to lead her team to the second round of the regional playoffs. She was a four-year varsity starter and three-time All Ches-Mont First Team honoree.

Maddie Pack - defender; New Market, MD/Our Lady of Good Counsel

Pack earned All-America honors this past year and played in the High School All-America game at center back. She also earned first-team all-conference and all-state honors this season. Pack helped Our Lady of Good Counsel to three Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles during her playing time while scoring nine goals and 31 assists.

Grace Dickey - TBD; Swathmore, PA/Strath Haven

Dickey was an All-American selection at the Adidas National Showcase in 2014. She earned a spot on the All-Central League Team after receiving Honorable Mention recognition from 2012-14. Dickey helped Strath Haven to three District 1 and Central League titles and was awarded the Robert Urban Award for leadership, academic excellence, and dedication. Outside of high school, she helped Spirit and then Penn fusion ECNL to three Pennsylvania State Championships and the Region One title in 2011.

Eva Gordeau - forward; Beverly, MA/Beverly

At Beverly High, Gordeau earned over 100 points, averaging 25 goals per season. Going off of that, she led Beverly in assists for three seasons. She was a member of the FC Stars ECNL program, who she helped win the 2011 Massachusetts State Cup championship in 2011. She also helped the FC Stars finish in the top 16 in three ECNL National Championships. Gordeau was honored as a three-time NEC All-Star and Salem News All-Star. Last, but certainly not least, she helped participated in the 2012 U.S. National ID (indoor) Camp and was a Nike's "The Champ" finalist.

Drina Domic - defender; Calgary, AB/Bishop Carroll

Domic won the Division 1 Calgary City Championship in the 2014-15 season. She helped her team to a second-place finish in both 2013 and 2014 and helped her provincial club team to a bronze medal in U16 Nationals. Domic also played with the Croatian Women's U17 team at two UEFA sanctioned tournaments.

From UMBC to Syracuse

Annette Cappellino (goalkeeper; Penfield, NY/Penfield) is the newest member of the team that is not an incoming freshman. In her high school days, she earned first-team All-Monroe County Public School Athletic Conference and All-Greater Rochester Honorable Mention honors. She served as a team captain during her senior campaign and was also named team MVP. Cappellino was honored as a two-time NYS West ODP Region 1 Tournament team selection and was selected to the ODP Region 1 ID Pool and NYS West ODP State Outdoor Pool. In addition, she played for Empire United Soccer Academy outside of high school.

Head Coach Phil Weddon

Weddon is in his eighth year of coaching the Orange, wielding a 44-67-20 (24-46-7 conference) overall record since his inaugural year in 2008. His team's best performance so far was in 2012, when they had a 9-7-2 (6-3-1 Big East) record and lost to Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament. He has also worked with the U.S. National Teams since 2002.

How Will The Team Fare This Year?

There are several winnable matches to start the season. The real test will come when the conference season begins in late September. The biggest games will most likely be those against Virginia, the tournament runner-up, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Clemson, all three ranked at some point last season. Syracuse will face seven 2014 NCAA Tournament teams this fall. Look for Stephanie Skilton, Maya Pitts, and Alex Lamontagne to all continue their success from last season, as well as others to make a name for themselves.

G'ORANGE!