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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ As Syracuse players continued celebrating by its bench, head coach Nicky Adams walked over to her husband, Charlie, with the statsheet. She pointed to the shots, Adams, a former forward, said. She couldn’t stop smiling as Charlie read the tallies.Underneath the “OT” column, it read: Demon Deacons, 1, Orange, 4. For the game, Syracuse outshot Wake Forest 17-14, and the two teams finished level on shots on goal at six.Less than a week after registering no shots at Notre Dame, SU (3-7-2, 1-3-1 Atlantic Coast) came back against WFU (5-5-3, 0-3-2) on Thursday night at SU Soccer Stadium courtesy of two Meghan Root goals after halftime. The Demon Deacons dominated the first half with 64% possession and five shots to the Orange’s two and broke through just over two minutes into the second.SU talked about “guts” and “courage” during halftime, Adams said, and it showed after the WFU goal as the Orange midfield and attack turned on a suffocating press that eventually led to Root’s tying goal.Then, after her initial shot in overtime was blocked, Root tipped Clarke Brown’s effort, causing the ball to squeeze underneath the WFU goalie. Seeing the ball stopped in the six-yard box, Root secured Syracuse’s first ACC win in nearly two years.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Our coaches really emphasize courage,” senior captain Georgia Allen said. “Having guts. Not letting our momentum go down. We have a habit of coming back out and starting slow, so we made it a priority to come out firing and we always believed that we could win.”In the first half, the Orange struggled to keep ahold of the ball, didn’t get to second balls which their coaches yelled about from the sideline and gave Wake Forest time and space to play one-two’s in SU’s half of the field. It resembled Syracuse’s last three ACC outings, but the opposition this time wasn’t ranked.The Demon Deacons did split the SU backline in the eighth minute, but goalie Lysianne Proulx came off her line to make a point-blank save which was rendered moot anyway by the linesman’s flag.When Syracuse earned the ball back, Allen became more assertive and tried to feed the wingers through. She wasn’t able to weight the passes correctly, and WFU defenders muscled the smaller Orange players off the ball.In the 31st minute, a Wake Forest turnover in the midfield fell to Marisa Fischetti, who looked for Shannon Aviza, a defender who’s moved into the midfield, on a run out wide. Fischetti’s pass was too heavy, and SU’s break was slowed. Aviza’s eventual cross would be off-balance and too close to the keeper, who easily caught it.“It was about getting through that first half,” Adams said. “And then the second half, really amping it up and stepping up and putting a lot of pressure on them to not allow them to serve the ball into that central part of the field where they were dissecting us the first half.”Wake Forest came out of the break and took the lead, but Syracuse’s changes slowly gave them more control of the ball and the midfield as the second half progressed. After playing a 4-4-2 for the majority of the first half and only sending in one striker to press the Wake Forest backline, the Orange switched to a more fluid 4-2-3-1.The two wide players out of the three sitting behind the lone striker were encouraged to press. With Aviza setting up as a defensive midfielder, the other two players in the middle were free to roam and cut off passing lanes.“That was so fun,” Root said on pressing. “… We decided to press and then we were getting results when we did, so I think that gives everyone momentum to want to keep going forward and press, and it worked out.”Both Allen and Adams commended the play of Mackenzie Vlachos as one of the midfielders clogging up the middle. When Wake Forest tried to play long balls to its forwards, Vlachos was often there to pick the ball off.With the ball, she looked forward, which hasn’t always been the case this season for the entire SU team, Adams said. Against Notre Dame, the midfielders first glance was behind them to the defenders instead of looking ahead for forward runs. Even Fischetti, a striker, played multiple passes back to the defense against the Irish.“It was confidence on the ball,” Adams said. “It wasn’t getting the ball and having to go negative all the time. We were actually getting it and looking up and trying to get forward and breaking lines and getting in behind them. And that’s what made us so dangerous.”The possession added up to more corners for SU. In the second half and overtime, Syracuse earned all seven of its corner kicks. The Deacons had just three in that span. Set pieces have led to most of the Orange’s goals, and again on Thursday night, they took advantage of the free crossing opportunities. After having shots blocked or deflected out on its first few corners, Root finally capitalized with just over six minutes left in regulation to tie.After 98 minutes and 27 seconds, Syracuse mobbed Root and Wake Forest was left putting hands on hips and staring into the dark skyline. The Orange offense had finally come through. Comments Published on October 10, 2019 at 11:31 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder last_img read more