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Syracuse women’s soccer freshman Taylor Bennett carves out role as free-kick specialist

first_imgWith the game on the line, Phil Wheddon could’ve gone with senior Stephanie Skilton, who has led the team in scoring each of the last three years, to take the free kick. He could’ve picked junior Eva Gordon, who had scored Syracuse’s one goal earlier in the game. Or senior Maddie Iozzi, who takes the Orange’s corner kicks.But instead, Wheddon chose freshman Taylor Bennett, who had just four games and six shots to in her collegiate career coming into the game.The Orange (4-1-1) was down, 2-1, to Bucknell with fewer than 15 minutes left in the game. Bennett struck the ball clean, blasting a shot past Bucknell goalkeeper Jessica Ratner and off the crossbar, straight up and harmlessly out of play.Bennett missed the shot, but she has been in positions to contribute early and often during her brief college career. She’s started all six of SU’s games this season and is tied for the team lead with two assists, despite traditionally being at the other end of the field as a center back. Bennett also has one goal and is tied for the team lead in points with three other players. She’s developed a specialty as the Orange’s free-kick taker.“You come in expecting to be able to contribute to the team,” Bennett said, “but as a freshman you are mentally saying, ‘Alright maybe I’ll take a year on the bench, you never know,’ so I was very excited to come in and see that I can play.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBennett has six shots on free kicks this season. Two hit the crossbar, one went high, one went wide and one was blocked.The other, fired from about 35 yards away against Albany on Aug. 28, flew over the wall and the goalie’s outstretched arms for Bennett’s only goal of the season.“That’s in my range and I have a pretty long shot,” Bennett said, “and we knew coming in if we put things on frame we’d get opportunities so that’s what I was told to do and we executed.”Bennett’s teammates knew she had “strong kick,” but Iozzi didn’t know how consistent it would be around the box. Despite being put in the pressure situations, Bennett doesn’t appear to be nervous on the field like most freshmen, Iozzi said.Against Delaware on Aug. 21, one of her free kicks off the crossbar ricocheted to a teammate, who was able to knock it in for a goal.“We know she can hit a great ball,” Iozzi said. “All she needs to do is aim low and she’ll have a good shot on net. … She’s been a good impact player”Wheddon was hoping that Bennett would be able to assume free kick responsibilities in her debut season, but it was a wish more than an expectation.“Taylor came in and has been given an opportunity to play and has run with it,” Wheddon said. “She serves a great ball and has a very, very dangerous shot, so as far as production goes, I think it’s great for us.” Comments Published on September 6, 2016 at 1:14 am Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham Related Stories Stephanie Skilton’s 2 goals lift Syracuse women’s soccer to 2-1 overtime win against CornellSyracuse women’s soccer allows 2 2nd-half goals and falls to Bucknell, 2-1Syracuse women’s soccer beats Albany, 2-0, for best start since 2003center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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first_imgAnne Marie and Natasha after their superb runs. Pic by Gerry Farnan.Another chapter in the resurgence of Lifford AC was written yesterday in the Phoenix Park, Dublin when Senior athletes Ann Marie McGlynn and Natasha Adams had two outstanding runs to claim Irish vests for forthcoming international meets.The Gerry Farnan event marks the opening of the Irish Cross Country season in which Ireland’s leading senior, junior and masters cross country runners participate. The double European cross country champion of 2011 and 2012, Fionnuala Britton, commenced her seasons by winning the Gerry Farnan in each of those years and yet again, Britton was in action yesterday having just returned from altitude training in France.It was in a field of this class that both McGlynn and Adams took to the starting line.In McGlynn’s case, a top four berth would secure selection to the Irish team for the Lotto Cross Cup in Antwerp, while Adams knew a top four placing in her Masters event would secure a first Irish vest for the upcoming international in Wales.In recent months, all the superlatives have been written about Lifford AC athletes and their performances and progress. However, yesterdays race by Ann Marie and Natasha was simply outstanding from start to finish. Fionnuala Britton, as expected, led straight from the gun and opened up a big gap early in the race. While a group of up to ten runners tried to keep with Britton’s blistering pace, Ann Marie ran a composed race off this chasing pack.As the race progressed, Ann Marie worked her way through the field and on the last lap, dug deep into her reserves to pick the front runners off one by one to work her way through to a fourth placed finish behind internationals Britton, Sara Louise Tracey and Laura Crowe.This secures an international vest for Ann Marie, certainly turning back the clock to such appearances many years ago, and showing she is coming back to her very best.While Ann Marie ran a composed race, the same could be said of Natasha Adams, whose consistent pace was evident throughout the race.Going into the race, Natasha would have settled for a fourth place in the Masters.However, after her front running Masters victory in Donegal last week, Natasha showed her fearless nature by mixing it not just with the Masters, but with the top class senior opposition in this race. From an early stage, Natasha led the Masters race with Kilmore’s Jackie Carthy not far behind. Going into the last lap, Carthy closed the gap on Natasha, but with about 800m to go, the Lifford girl put some distance between the two to claim the Masters title and a well deserved first Irish vest.A thoroughly satisfying day out, great to see the Lifford vest at the forefront of such a high quality race, and fingers crossed for even better days to come.LIFFORD ATHLETES SECURE IRISH TEAM BERTHS WITH SUPERB RUNS was last modified: October 21st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:athleticsCross CountryIrelandLIfford AClast_img read more

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