17 Sep

WSOC : Other players step up for Syracuse in Romagnuolo’s absence

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon wasn’t worried about his offense. Even without top offensive player Tina Romagnuolo, Wheddon was confident someone would step up.‘I was asked a while ago who’s going to score our goals, and I said it’s going to come from different places,’ Wheddon said. ‘We include everyone in finishing.’With Romagnuolo in Kansas City, Kan., this weekend playing for the Canadian national team, the SU offense was expected to take a hit. Instead, Syracuse outshot the Friars 10-2 and won for the first time since Aug. 21 behind a goal from sophomore Lauren DeCarlo in the 86th minute. DeCarlo came through with the big play, but the entire Orange offense was on the attack throughout the game.Senior Casey Ramirez has been aggressive all season. Her 15 shots are second on the team behind Romagnuolo. Jenna Rickan and Cecelia Borgstrom both entered the game with nine shots and a goal each this season.The Orange would likely depend on those three offensive threats to fill the void left by Romagnuolo. Instead, SU found the scoring spark it needed in an unexpected place — the right foot of DeCarlo.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDespite playing in just three games this season, the sophomore defender registered the decisive goal.‘The coaches had told me before the game to be ready to go in, so I was prepared to play were anything to happen,’ DeCarlo said. ‘It was nerve-racking going in, but I was like, ‘I’ve got to do this.”DeCarlo overcame her nerves to make the most of her opportunity. She was left unmarked running from her defensive position late in the second half, and when a deflected cross bounced her way, she sent it into the back of the net.DeCarlo became the fifth different player to score a goal this season for the Orange. SU doesn’t rely heavily on any one player on offense this year, as those five players have combined for five total goals.Wheddon said the variety of scoring options made adjusting to play without Romagnuolo easier.‘We play well with or without Tina,’ Wheddon said. ‘We didn’t play any differently than we would normally, and the team really did a good job.’For much of the first half the offense was being funneled through Ramirez.Playing on the wing, the defender was consistently able to get the ball in the top right corner of the offensive third and send crosses into the middle. Unfortunately, the forwards struggled to convert those crosses into goals.‘It’s really frustrating, but at least we’re getting the opportunities,’ Ramirez said. ‘Once we work on getting them in, it should just come more easily, and hopefully, we’ll be beating teams by more and more.’Ramirez’s early success setting up the offense made the ending even more surprising. DeCarlo entered the game to replace Ramirez after she suffered a knee injury.As Ramirez came off the field, Wheddon motioned to her, trying to find out if she could play through the injury.‘I wanted to know whether she was okay or not and whether she could play,’ Wheddon said.But Ramirez couldn’t return. And with DeCarlo standing alongside him on the sideline, he sent her into the game. Soon after, DeCarlo scored the goal.The defense then kept Providence off the board in the final minutes to secure the win. The defensive unit knew it would also have to step up with Romagnuolo gone to give the offense a chance.SU did just that, holding Providence to two shots, only one of which really challenged goalkeeper Brittany Anghel.‘With Tina being missing, I think that everyone just felt that they needed to step up,’ Anghel said. ‘We stayed really strong in the back, and we never gave up.’Anghel’s shutout is her fourth of the season, moving her halfway to the SU single-season record. Her play has been as much a reason as any why SU sits just a game below .500 now despite scoring just five goals in the first eight games of the season.And this time, the offense gave Anghel enough support to win. Even without Romagnuolo. The Orange has proved it can win in any circumstance.And maybe SU has found a new scoring option in DeCarlo, too.‘We would have hoped that we created a lot of opportunities to score and some of our more regular goal scorers could have put them in,’ Wheddon said. ‘Today, it’s great to know that we have options on different parts of the field.’[email protected]center_img Commentslast_img read more