WSOC : Orange bounces back to beat Villanova after loss to Georgetown

first_img Comments Before every game, Brittany Anghel and her Syracuse teammates pick a word or phrase, scribble it on a piece of medical tape with black permanent marker and wear the tape around their wrists.One game it was ‘commit.’ Another game it was ‘rise above.’For the Orange’s match against Villanova, the phrase was ‘our time.’‘Our time,’ Anghel said. ‘Our time to shine. Our time to show what we can do, that we can beat this team. That, that performance against Georgetown wasn’t really us.’Coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss to Georgetown on Friday, Syracuse turned things around on Sunday at Syracuse Soccer Stadium, picking up a critical 1-0 win over the Wildcats. SU’s (3-4-3, 2-2 Big East) lone goal came off a toe poke from the right foot of Megan Hunsberger in the 57th minute, breaking a scoreless tie in front of 412 spectators.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU head coach Phil Wheddon said that a critical win after Friday’s loss meant added pressure for the Orange.‘They know that we have to go 1-1 or at least that’s the goal to go 1-1 at least every weekend,’ Wheddon said. ‘So they’re aware of a certain amount of pressure, and I think they really stepped up today.’A freshman netted her first career goal and was one player in particular who really stepped up.Hunsberger sprinted down the left sideline and received a precise pass from midfielder Tina Romagnuolo, who had volleyed it over the head of a Wildcats defender.Villanova had two options: foul Hunsberger or let her take the open shot. The Wildcats decided on the ladder and with just the goalkeeper to beat, Hunsberger knocked in her first career goal by shooting to the far side of the net.With her goal, she also put SU in front. The emotion of the first goal of her career was overwhelming.‘It was awesome,’ said Hunsberger. ‘I didn’t even know what to do.’Early on, SU head coach Phil Wheddon wasn’t pleased with how his team came out. The Orange dealt with the same problems it had against Georgetown — not controlling the tempo and not possessing the ball with proficiency.To him, this was not Syracuse soccer.‘We didn’t play our brand of soccer for sure,’ Wheddon said. ‘ … I don’t think we executed the game plan in the first half.’At halftime, Syracuse made some adjustments to get around Villanova’s attempts at clogging up the center of the field with three midfielders. The Orange put more of a focus on playing out on the flanks and getting more mobility on the wide parts of the field, Wheddon said.So with the changes, SU’s offense was able to push the Wildcats defense back and apply more pressure on Villanova’s back line.‘In the second half, we were very dynamic,’ Wheddon said. ‘We were moving the ball. Getting open for the ball and when we do that I think we’re an exciting team to watch, and we create options that we did today.’SU had a couple key chances within the first seven minutes of the second half in the form of shots on net by Romagnuolo and Brielle Heitman.But after that strike from Hunsberger in the 57th minute, things started to get a little tense. Villanova was issued two yellow cards.Jenna Rickan was tripped to the ground by a Villanova defender after she had a legitimate scoring opportunity, and Brittany Kinmond was dropped to the ground deep in Villanova’s zone.It was the only way the Wildcats could slow down SU’s faster second-half pace.‘Even at the end, you could just tell it was getting chippier and chippier,’ Rickan said. ‘But we just kept going and realized it doesn’t matter who has the most yellow or whatever. It just matters that we won 1-0.’It especially matters that the Orange escaped with the dramatic victory because it’s hoping to have a realistic shot at a Big East tournament berth. And splitting weekend conference games is a necessity to achieve that goal.And after falling to Georgetown on Friday, SU couldn’t bear dropping another Big East contest against a beatable Villanova squad that isn’t at the elite stature it was a couple of years back, when it made it to the NCAA tournament.Today, it was SU’s time to take control.‘We’re sick and tired of saying this is our game, this is our game,’ Rickan said. ‘We want to just go and do it.’dgproppe@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on September 25, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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