Scoreless in last 5 games, Syracuse’s offense has disappeared

first_img Published on September 17, 2019 at 9:17 pm Contact Eric: As Alexandra Panaggio’s overtime shot just feet from the net sailed wide right on Sunday, Nicky Adams placed her hands on her head, tilting her neck back slightly as she turned toward the crowd in disbelief.Another perfect chance to score was wasted. Another minute without a goal.Panaggio’s chance came in the 98th minute of Sunday’s game when a Taylor Bennett free kick from near midfield landed right at Panaggio’s feet. She missed. The goal would have snapped a four-game SU scoreless streak, but instead the Orange (2-4-1) tied Fordham 0-0 after two extra time periods. Syracuse will now enter conference play without a goal in 498 consecutive minutes, scoreless since Aug. 29.The chances were there. After being outshot 61-30 over the past four games, SU fired off 23 (nine on goal) on Sunday to Fordham’s six. And yet, the Orange still failed to find the back of the net.“I think [we feel] just general frustration with not being able to quite finish,” forward Meghan Root said. “We were in the 18 for a long time, a lot of scrappiness, where balls are kinda loose, just wanting to actually get on it and put that away.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse recorded just 11 goals last season in 18 games. Adams took the reins of the program, hoping to improve the offense. With 33 shots on route to a 2-0 start, it appeared SU was capable of overhauling the offense. But Adams’ vision hasn’t quite grown to fruition since, as injuries and missed chances have the Orange looking more and more like 2018’s iteration.Adams listed “personnel and conditions” as part of the difficulty in finishing in the final third. Set pieces such as the Orange’s eight corner kicks on Sunday remain a large part of the game plan, but it can only go so far when there are only 13 eligible players left healthy. That results in lots of minutes to go around, as well as players playing out of position.Karleigh Merritt-Henry | Digital Design EditorSantita Ebangwese, the third string goalie, has logged 94 minutes at forward over the past three games, including 42 against Kent State on Sept. 8. Freshmen have been forced into more action than usual. First-year forward Marisa Fischetti has recorded five starts and is third-highest in shots with nine. Teri Jackson and Panaggio, both freshmen, flashed their talents in extensive minutes Sunday. There are 16 SU players who have recorded a shot this season, 11 with three or more.Part of the scoring drought is because of shooting inaccuracy. In the 14th minute of the game with St. John’s, midfielder Stephanie deLaforcade was gifted a one-on-one opportunity with St. John’s goalie Naya Lipkens, but Lipkens read the shot perfectly and caught it.On Sunday, freshman Kailey Brenner played the ball into the box perfectly but center back Shannon Aviza’s shot was rejected by the Fordham goalie back to Aviza. She then hit the crossbar and another rebound found deLaforcade, who sent a shot wide left.“I figured let’s put the other team under pressure, let’s get forward and see if we can mix it up and use a new strategy,” Adams said. “We put them under pressure and were able to win the ball up higher on the field which gave us a bit more opportunities to score.”The scoring has to come from somewhere. Forward Kate Hostage, last season’s leading goal scorer, is out for the season after an injury suffered in the spring. Midfielder Georgia Allen, who was third on the team in points last season, missed two games while playing with the U-21 England national team before suffering a concussion against Kent State. Allen is expected back soon.Senior Sydney Brackett, who leads the team with 19 shots, didn’t play on Sunday and had a brace on her right leg. Redshirt sophomore Laurel Ness, who scored the first goal of Syracuse’s season, has been unavailable since an injury in the second half of the Kent State game.Through the mixing and matching of the lineups, the Orange haven’t had the luxury of establishing the kind of chemistry other teams may have.“It’s going, it’s getting better for sure,” Root said. “I think you can see that we’re starting to build up and get forward more.”Adams inherited a defensive-minded program that’s lacked scoring for years, and she knows her offense is new. The Orange are a beat off, whether it be Root not pulling the trigger in front of the net or Fischetti taking one extra touch, as Adams noted.“It’s just about gaining confidence,” Adams said. “And once they figure out they can do it, the magic will start happening.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img