Freshman Brosnan slides into expected starting spot after injury

first_img Published on October 1, 2014 at 12:10 am Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Courtney Brosnan rose to the occasion in the 22nd minute. After barely touching the ball early on against Pittsburgh, Syracuse’s freshman goalie saved a goal.The Panthers’ Roosa Arvas unloaded a free kick toward the top right corner of the net. Brosnan shuffled to her left, jumped up and tipped the ball above the crossbar to stop Pittsburgh’s most threatening chance of the first half.“Her ability to make key saves is exceptional,” Orange head coach Phil Wheddon said.The start of the game against Pittsburgh reflected the freshman’s season. After sitting out for a month due to a right knee injury, she’s now SU’s starting goalie and is being called on to perform.Now fully healthy — with a brace on her right knee — Brosnan has started the past four games for SU (4-5-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) and has allowed five goals while saving 16-of-21 shots. In her first collegiate season, Brosnan’s learning the increased pace, becoming more comfortable with her defenders and developing the leadership required for the position.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“If I just keep talking, it just makes that even better,” Brosnan said of her communication with the defense.Entering 2014, Syracuse needed a new goalie to replace Brittany Anghel, the school’s all-time leader in wins, with 28, and shutouts, with 21. The four-year starter graduated last year. Wheddon planned to start Brosnan at the beginning of the season, but she got injured during warm-ups of a preseason scrimmage against Binghamton on Aug. 16. On the sideline, Brosnan still communicated with the defense to help the team. She also encouraged Mackienze Moranz — who started the first eight games and allowed nine goals on 26 shots — to keep her confidence up, even though she was frustrated by not playing.“You can’t have progress everyday so it’s hard on those days when you just like feel the same as you did the day before,” Brosnan said. “But other than that, you just have to keep moving forward.”And as soon as Brosnan was healthy, Wheddon put her in goal.Brosnan enrolled at SU in January and has a longer-lasting relationship with returning players than most freshmen. But Wheddon said there is no substitute for game action.“Becoming a unit with the back four,” Wheddon said of what Brosnan is working on. “Identifying strengths and weaknesses of all the players. It becomes very, very challenging to find the flow of the game quickly.”Erin Simon, who has played defense in the past four games, said she feels comfortable with Brosnan in goal. Simon added that Brosnan’s communication and ability to make saves in key spots have kept Syracuse competitive in recent games. Brosnan’s willingness to attack the ball on set pieces and crosses is another strength of hers, Wheddon said, but Syracuse has allowed three goals off corner kicks in the last five games. Yet Michael Hogan, Brosnan’s high school coach at Millburn (New Jersey), described an attribute that could prove useful in those situations as Brosnan continues to develop. “She had the athleticism to get there before anybody else. She has no fear, which is the best part about being a goalkeeper,” Hogan said. “… She is aggressive. She definitely makes the 18 her box and that’s her territory.”There’s still room to progress, but Wheddon thinks Brosnan has begun to prove herself.Said Wheddon: “I think she’s one of the best goalkeepers in the league.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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