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Syracuse women’s soccer: 2016 season preview

After finishing their 2015 campaign strong, going 3-1 over the last four games, the ladies look to keep the momentum going in 2016.

The 2016 Syracuse Women’s Soccer Team
Syracuse Athletics

The Syracuse Orange Women’s Soccer team opens up their 2016 campaign tonight at Colgate with kickoff set for 7:00pm ET (livestream link).

Three-straight losing seasons don’t look good on paper, but the ladies are looking to prove that they can compete with the rest of the league as they showed down the stretch last year. With leading goal-scorers returning in the form of junior forward Alex Lamontagne and senior forward Stephanie Skilton, as well as junior goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan, the Orange have a legitimate shot to claim one of the four spots in this year’s ACC Tournament.

2015 Season Recap

It’s always nice to start off the season with a win, which is exactly what Syracuse did in their opener at UMass, clobbering the Minutemen 6-0. They proceeded to lose the second game of the weekend 0-1 against Providence in Rhode Island before coming back home to face No. 18 St. John’s. The Red Storm prevailed 1-0, but the Orange would come back a few days later to beat Albany 2-1. Syracuse lost two straight away games against No. 25 UConn and Buffalo, both 0-1, before tying Cornell at the S.U. Soccer Stadium. The team bounced back with two wins in-a-row, both at home, against Colgate, 2-1, and Drexel, 3-2.

The biggest blow to the team’s hopes of making the postseason was their six-game losing streak that started with a 0-5 beatdown at the hands of No. 1 Virginia. It continued with 1-3 losses to both No. 3 UNC and No. 9 Virginia Tech on the road. Three-straight 0-1 contests against Louisville, No. 16 Notre Dame and Pitt respectively was a harsh wake-up call.

Despite the ugly part, the Orange managed to finish the season with three wins and one 0-1 loss against NC State, 3-0, Miami, 2-1, Wake Forest, 1-0, and No. 6/7 Clemson.

The 2015 version of the women’s soccer team had a 1.11 goals-per-game average while holding their 19 opponents to an average of 1.26. Syracuse scored on 21 of their 205 shot attempts and held the opposition to 24 of 212 chances. They had only five yellow cards and forced 16. With four shutouts and several one and two-goal losses, there is plenty of opportunity for improvement this time around.

Notable Returners

  • Alex Lamontagne, Junior, Forward: Lamontagne was one of the two leading scorers on the squad with four goals and two assists. She started 13 of the 18 games she played in and will most likely see more of the field this season as an upperclassman.
  • Stephanie Skilton, Senior, Forward: Skilton was the other scoring leader with four goals and an assist of her own. She also started 13 games and saw time in all 19 of the contests on the schedule. Skilton and Lamontagne will be the duo to look out for.
  • Sheridan Street, Junior, Forward: Street was right behind Lamontagne and Skilton with three goals scored and one assist, after seeing playing time in all 19 matches, named as a starter seven of them. Look for her to make an even bigger impact on offense this year.
  • Eva Gordon, Junior, Forward: Gordon had a pretty successful season of her own, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. She started 13 of the 17 games she played in and will probably be on the same line as Lamontagne and Skilton.
  • Defense: Junior Alana O’Neill, Junior Jessica Vigna, Sophomore Maddie Pack, and Senior Maddie Iozzi. All four had a major impact on the backline that secured four shutouts.
  • Courtney Brosnan, Junior, Goalkeeper: Brosnan officially became the starting goalie last year. She had 82 saves and allowed 24 goals out of the 208 shots she faced and was the catalyst for the team’s four shutouts.

Incoming Freshmen

  • Sydney Brackett, Hollis Brookline H.S., Hollis, New Hampshire: At Hollis Brookline, Bracket scored 71 goals, including 31 during her senior year which also won her the Golden Boot Award for the conference. She was invited to play midfield for the U-19 U.S. Women’s National Team and was named to the 2015 East All-American Team.
  • Taylor Bennet, Dryden H.S., Ithaca, New York: Scored 186 goals and 36 assists over the course of her career at Dryden, including a single-season record of 48 during her senior year. Dryden won three state titles and one national title from 2013 through 2015. She earned several accolades including four New York First-Team All-State selections, three IAC League MVP awards, and recognition as ESPN’s Ithaca Player of the Year as a senior.
  • Opal Curless, Mount Desert H.S., Mt. Desert, Maine: Curless scored 28 goals and had 12 assists as a senior at Mount Desert and was named the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year. She was named to the East All-American Team, Maine’s NSCAA All-American Team, and the All-New England Team. She also competed for three years on the national circuit for the FC Stars, one of the top-16 teams in the country.
  • Daniella Giancarli, The Pennington School, West Winsor, New Jersey: Giancarli and her Pennington School team won the New Jersey Prep A Championship all four years. She was honored as a member of the All-Prep First Team during her junior year and All-Area First Team as a senior.
  • Victoria Hill, Council Rock North, Newtown, Pennsylvania: Over the course of her four years at Council Rock North, Hill scored 24 goals and had 46 assists, including nine and 19 during her senior year. She was an All-County honoree and was a member of the Suburban One League First Team. She and her U-17 FC Bucks became the American Legion National Champions and led the U-18 team to a conference championship the following year.
  • Erin McCann, Palos Verdes H.S., Palos Verdes Estates, California: McCann helped guide Palos Verdes to a 22-4-3 record, the Bay League title for the second straight year, and the CIF Southern Division II Title during her senior season as a defender for the Sea Kings. The championship broke a 33-year drought.
  • Carolin Bader, Christoph-Probst-Gymnasium Gilching, Munich, Germany: Bader played five years for the FC Bayern Munich club team, leading them to a German U-17 Championship in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, she was named to both the German Youth National Team and Bavara All-Star Team

2016 Schedule Primer

Once tonight’s contest with Colgate concludes, the Orange will come back home to face the University of Delaware for the first time. They have three more home games against Army, Albany, and Bucknell before facing Cornell, Rhode Island and Fairfield on the road. Syracuse will wrap-up the non-conference portion of their schedule against Buffalo on September 15th at the SU Soccer Stadium.

In ACC play, they’ll host Notre Dame before three-straight away games at Clemson, Miami, and Duke. The Orange will then face Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Pitt at home. Pitt is also the team’s Alumni Game, October 16th.

The team will then wrap-up their season away against Wake Forest, home versus UNC, and away at Boston College on October 27th.

Here’s to a great season, ladies! G’Orange!