first_imgFairfield’s Jackie Goudreault was right on Alana O’Neil’s back. As Goudreault neared the ball, O’Neil lunged right and crossed the ball half the width of the field. As it soared to the top of the box, O’Neil’s teammate, Kaliee Coonan, beat a Fairfield player to the ball and shot. The ball sailed wide.No goal was scored on the play but the creative approach gave a scoring opportunity for Syracuse (5-2-1). It’s the creativity of players such as O’Neil that keeps defenses off balance and is important because SU’s offense ranks only 96th in the country in goals scored (14).“It takes time for players to learn each other’s tendencies,” SU head coach Phil Wheddon said. “If they want the ball on the ground, do they want the ball in the air, are they looking to run behind? They’re all the things we look at and it takes time to do that.”SU’s 3-5-2 formation lends itself to creativity. The use of two wingbacks, two forwards and three midfielders puts more players in attacking positions. The Orange’s leading scorer, Sydney Brackett, has used her creativity to become a more dynamic scorer.Last season, as the center forward, Brackett often peeled out to the line, letting the wingback come in. This year as a wingback, she tries to stay central and pair with the center forward.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s been a crucial thing for me to understand and figure out this year,” Brackett said. “I think we have a good dynamic between all the players fluctuating through that center forward position that are all kind of having a mutual understanding. I think that’s been something that’s helped the team creativity.”In a 3-0 victory over Cornell on Aug. 31, Georgia Allen was dribbling the ball downfield when she spotted Eva Gordon in a scoring position. Allen passed to Gordon, who sprinted to the goal with the ball at her feet and a Cornell player at her back. Gordon took her opportunity and watched as the ball flew past the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms.“I always want to create opportunities,” Allen said. “Whether that be for myself or other people, it doesn’t matter who puts the ball in the net at the end of the day just as long as we as a team do well. I love to combine. I love short plays with my teammates.”Four days later, in a 3-0 win over Fairfield, Kate Donovan demonstrated creativity in her goal. The ball started near the top right corner of the box. Multiple Fairfield and SU players were making their way toward it and Donovan took her chance. She ran to the ball and sailed the ball into the net to put the Orange up one three minutes in.“By having a creative offense,” Allen said, “we look dangerous. We go into games with a threat.” Comments Published on September 18, 2017 at 8:12 pm Contact Kaci: Facebook Twitter Google+last_img