3 normal starters play lesser roles in Syracuse’s 2-1 win over Colgate

first_img Published on September 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ As they do before every game, Syracuse captains Jackie Firenze and Stephanie Skilton joined goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan at the scorer’s table for the coin flip to determine which team would get possession first.But when the SU starters walked to midfield for lineup introductions, Firenze, Skilton and Maddie Iozzi — typically staples in the Orange’s starting lineup — weren’t among them. Instead, the three took their place on Syracuse’s bench, each wearing a long-sleeved orange pullover on top of their jerseys.Before Sunday, Firenze, Iozzi and Skilton had started all seven of Syracuse’s games in 2015. But SU head coach Phil Wheddon opted to shake up the lineup and use those players in more limited roles off the bench against Colgate. The result was a 2-1 victory for the Orange (3-4-1) over the Red Raiders (2-5) — Syracuse’s first win since topping Albany by the same score Aug. 30.Wheddon said that after SU tied Cornell 0-0 Friday, he and SU’s other coaches met to discuss potential lineup adjustments.“We make lineup decisions based on performance,” he said. “We felt that performance-wise, we needed to make some changes.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Syracuse had its pregame meeting Sunday morning, Firenze, Iozzi and Skilton learned they wouldn’t be starting. For Firenze, it marked the first time in her four-year career at Syracuse that she didn’t start a game she played in.“It was kind of motivating,” Firenze said. “Obviously I need to be out on the field to help my team, so there’s good and bad to do it.”Firenze’s time on the bench lasted for the majority of the first half. But 25 minutes into the game, SU assistant coach Neel Bhattacharjee approached the reserves and said something. Firenze, Iozzi, Skilton and a couple others then began jogging up and down the sideline. A few minutes later, Firenze and Skilton checked into the game for Rebecca Pongetti and Eva Gordon. Iozzi, meanwhile, stayed put on the bench.In the second half, all three players were again on the bench when play resumed. Firenze and Skilton re-entered with just over 30 minutes to play and Syracuse leading, 1-0.Skilton had a chance to leave her fingerprints on the game in the 68th minute. Alex Lamontagne took the ball up the left side of the field and crossed a pass into the box to Skilton, but the forward whiffed at the goal-scoring opportunity.Roughly five minutes later, Skilton and Firenze were both near the center of the action when Alexis Koval scored to extend SU’s lead to 2-0, even though neither registered any statistics.After Koval’s goal, Iozzi walked to the scorer’s table and removed her pullover for the first time all afternoon before checking into the game in the 75th minute. Iozzi then made a costly mistake with just under 10 minutes to play, when she fouled Colgate’s Jenna Panepinto in the penalty box, giving Panepinto a penalty kick that she converted.But over the next nine minutes and 45 seconds, Iozzi helped make up for that blunder as she, Firenze and Skilton each finished a game they didn’t start, contributing to a Syracuse effort that prevented Colgate from getting another shot on goal.“We have a team that has a lot of depth, so people are willing to step into different roles,” Brosnan said. “Everyone knows that if they’re not starting, if they’re coming off the bench, everyone still has to bring their A-game. I think that’s something we did a very good job of today.” Commentslast_img

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