SU’s Fortune notches career-high
The Syracuse women’s lacrosse team didn’t exactly need another goal as time ticked down in the first half – it already led 14-0 – but sophomore midfielder Gaddy Fortune found the ball in her stick with five seconds left. So she fired a shot past Binghamton goalie Christa Quon. It was already her fourth goal of the game.
Despite resting for the entire second half of SU’s 20-1 win over Binghamton on Wednesday at the Carrier Dome, Fortune shined in the opening 30 minutes, notching a career-high in goals and points.
With extremely quick feet, Fortune has emerged primarily as a one-on-one threat for the Orange. She displayed the moves against Binghamton that enable her to easily create space for a shot.
‘Gaddy is the best athlete on the team,’ said SU coach Lisa Miller. ‘She’s very quick. There’s not a whole lot to her – she’s tall and thin and she’s very agile, when she turns a corner she disappears.’
While the team’s other top one-on-one player, senior Monica Joines, is used primarily in front of the net, Fortune operates in front and behind. She often circled around the net against Binghamton, looking for room for her right-handed shot.
Fortune and Joines led SU with four goals apiece. Her first goal came on a free-position shot seven minutes into the game. The other three were a result of shaking loose Bearcat defenders around the cage.
‘She has a very quick first step,’ said junior attackwoman Melody Agnew. ‘I think she can beat any defender. She’s not afraid to go to the goal.’
While she only scored one goal in SU’s season-opening 17-4 win over Albany, Fortune was third on the team with six shots. She fired another six shots on goal against Binghamton, tying her for the team lead. Simply based on those numbers, she is playing an unexpectedly large role in SU’s offense.
Fortune scored six goals in limited action as a backup midfielder last year. It appears she will give SU another scoring option besides the big three that have shown they will carry the load thus far this season – Monica Joines, Melody Agnew and Caitlyn Dragon.
‘If I can get a good one-on-one game consistently,’ Fortune said, ‘maybe (opponents) will back down and it can open up for Monica.’
Agnew said Fortune also adds an extra dimension to SU’s transition game. One of the fastest players on the team, her speed helps SU beat opponents downfield and create fast-break scoring opportunities.
In addition, she has played an active role on defense this season.
‘(Gaddy) is an unknown sophomore as of right now,’ said senior midfielder Monica Joines. ‘But if she continues stepping up, defenses will have to recognize and put their key defenders or keep guarding the crease from her. She’s improved beyond what we thought she could do.’
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