Syracuse moving on from scoring frustrations

first_img Published on September 16, 2015 at 8:35 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] The clock hit all zeroes Friday night against Cornell and Syracuse slowly jogged off the field of another scoreless game.Frustration loomed large. Jackie Firenze struggled to find words for the lack of production. Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon said his players weren’t connecting the final pass on the attack.“It’s really a whole team effort,” Firenze said following the game. “We all need to talk about it off the field and kind of bring it on the field.”So on Saturday, a team meeting was held and opinions were put out in the open.Fifth-year senior Alexis Koval called it a gut check. Everyone spoke. Even the freshmen and injured players shared their thoughts. Syracuse coaches participated as well to try and decipher what was missing on the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We knew that each one of us weren’t bringing what we had to the table,” Koval said. “So all we went through … what we thought we were missing. And everybody said desire.”Syracuse responded differently in its next game against Colgate on Sunday, scoring twice in the second half for its first win in four games. It was a testament to the team’s added emphasis placed on technique and routine in practice. Syracuse (3-4-1) will try to carry that momentum into Thursday’s 7 p.m. contest against Drexel (6-2) at SU Soccer Stadium.When Syracuse was struggling to score, Wheddon said he chose not to overemphasize the issue or the frustration. Overthinking could lead to further problems, he said, and drilling the need to score too much would prove counterproductive.“We did a balance,” Wheddon said. “We did some finishing sessions and then we eased off and just talked about how we need to play.”He turned to steady progression: Drills with no pressure, then a little bit of pressure, then full pressure. The routine is how Syracuse has been able to establish a rapport among one another.Syracuse scrimmaged on a condensed field with shorter boundaries in Tuesday’s practice. The team split between blue practice jerseys and yellow pinnies and the players executed quick give-and-go’s, weaving the ball through each other with adept quickness.The smaller field forced speedy decisions and increased the pace of play on the ball. It’s the type of quick and high-pressure play Wheddon said Syracuse is expecting from Drexel.“We always talk about having more dynamic runs up top and being dynamic in attack,” Firenze said.On Sunday, Koval looped around her defender, received the ball and scored deep in the box.It was a blindside run — when a player runs out of a defender’s field of vision to get open and receive a pass — and is something Syracuse has been practicing to add an element of surprise on the field.Wheddon called it technical repetition, and staying true to the process is what Syracuse has done all season.Consistent offense, however, has been more difficult for Syracuse. Two goals on Sunday brought a much-needed boost of confidence. Now, SU will look to put all the pieces together and continue the upswing.“The season’s been rolling, unfortunately we haven’t caught up to it yet,” Wheddon said. “Sunday was our best performance so far. We’re hoping that we can put out the same type of performance on Thursday.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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