National attention at stake in ‘big game’ against Dartmouth
It was a tough weekend for the Syracuse women’s soccer team, but there is one thing that can cheer it up: a win.
The Orangewomen travel to Hanover, N.H., today to take on Dartmouth. Winning is the only thing on SU’s mind after going winless against Boston College and Providence last weekend.
‘It’s a big game.’ senior Erica Mastrogiacomo said. ‘It’s always a regional rivalry between us and Dartmouth. It would be great to get a win in the region. They’re a strong opponent.’
Indeed, the Big Green (5-5-1, 2-0 Ivy League) defeated then-No. 19 Princeton, 3-2, on Oct. 5. Dartmouth is ranked No. 8 in Soccer Buzz magazine’s Northeast region poll.
Syracuse thinks a win at Dartmouth would propel it into the Top 25. The Orangewomen are ranked No. 3 in the Northeast, despite going 0-1-1 last weekend. They did not receive any votes in the national poll.
‘A win can only help us (gain national attention).’ senior Nina Scalzo said.
Against Dartmouth, SU is in for its second straight physical game. But it believes it can rebound from the Providence tie.
‘It’s going to be a battle, a physical battle.’ Mastrogiacomo said. ‘It won’t be a dirty game, but it will be a rough game. We are going to have to play strong defensively against them and wait for an opportunity for us to transition quickly and score.
‘We are going to pressure them to see if they make mistakes and hopefully capitalize on it.’
SU (8-4-1, 2-1-1 Big East) will use its usual 4-3-3 formation against Dartmouth’s 4-4-2 scheme. Syracuse will attack from the outside, where its advantage lies.
‘Our outside backs are more technical than theirs,’ Mastrogiacomo said. ‘So that’s how we’ll break them down.’
Being on the road does not seem to bother Syracuse. The Orangewomen are 5-1 when they are the visiting team. The Orangewomen play four straight road games beginning today.
‘This year, we’ve been doing better on the road.’ Mastrogiacomo said. ‘The road games are a good way to wrap up the season.’
The end of the season is in the back of the Orangewomen’s heads. Still, each win propels them closer to their postseason goal.
‘It’s going to be huge if we win this game.’ Scalzo said. ‘Dartmouth is such a good opponent. They are a strong team that’s in our region. A win puts us in better position for the NCAA Tournament.’
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