How Laurel Ness embodies Syracuse’s buy-in to Nicky Adams’ coaching strategy

first_img Published on September 4, 2019 at 10:21 pm Contact Tim: [email protected] Laurel Ness tallied five shots on goal all of last season, but in SU’s first three matches this year, the redshirt sophomore already has four shots. In the season opener this year, she scored her first career goal — a game-winner.Her breakout comes while the Orange are missing two of their premier offensive threats and is a testament to the trust she and her teammates have placed in first-year head coach Nicky Adams.“Laurel is not the fastest player, and she’s not the most aggressive player,” Adams said, “So how can she outsmart defenders to get her into space? And then be able to play quickly so we can get combinations off of her?”For her first career goal, Ness found that space. On Aug. 25, in its game against Colgate Syracuse went 2-1. In the 68th minute, a ball played in from the wing by Mackenzie Vlachos made its way to Ness, left unmarked at the top of the 18-yard box. She turned and rifled a shot into the top right corner before the Raiders’ keeper could react.While the goal was a relief, Ness admitted, it was just another indication of growing confidence within herself and the team.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The team’s been the ultimate sponges right now,” Adams said. “They’re trying to do everything, and it proved true with Laurel Ness (against Colgate).”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorPlayers like Ness will need to continue to produce without major scoring options Georgia Allen and Kate Hostage in the lineup. Allen is currently representing England in the U-21 Nordic Tournament at Loughborough University in England. Hostage, who led the team in scoring a season ago, is sidelined with an undisclosed injury and there’s no timetable for her return.Ness wasn’t the only SU player to record her first career goal last weekend, as junior Shannon Aviza scored her first against Siena four days after the Colgate game.Much of Ness and Aviza’s success can be attributed to the preseason, when Adams repeatedly emphasized having composure with the ball as well as moving without it, Ness said. Under Adams, the players feel free and equipped because of how much they’ve bought into Adams’ mantra: “Play to my strengths, not my weaknesses.”“In a lot of different areas, she’s really given us license to be creative,” said senior Sydney Brackett.Ness’ improvements can be seen beyond the scoreboard. Against Siena, she tallied three shots, two on net. In Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Dartmouth, Ness and Brackett were the only two Orange players to force a save from Big Green goalkeeper Mariel Gordon.“We’re going to keep playing the same way we’ve been playing moving forward,” Ness said, “We’ve still got a full team to attack with so we’ll be alright.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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