Molly Nethercott seeks expanded role after SU loses its top 2 defenders

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments “Every time a coach is saying something to Clarke, I’ll listen in and make sure I get that information,” Nethercott said. “That way, we can both work on it.”Although Nethercott has yet to start since the season-opener, SU head coach Phil Wheddon refers to the sophomore as the type of player he tries to build his program around: a positive individual on and off the field.“One of the things we talk a lot about is character and trying to bring in good players who are also good people,” Wheddon said.Awaiting ACC matchups with No. 5 Virginia, No. 6 North Carolina, No. 13 Duke and No. 17  North Carolina State, Nethercott will soon get her first taste of conference action this season, whether it’s via start or substitution. Wheddon knows that she’s athletic enough to compete in the ACC going forward. Now, Nethercott wants to take the responsibility and help navigate freshmen at SU.“I think just having that experience under your belt,” Aviza said of Nethercott, “you’re able to lead better.” A sophomore defender at Syracuse, Nethercott finds herself with an opportunity to crack the SU (3-6, 0-1 Atlantic Coast)  rotation after the Orange lost their top two defenders from last season in Jessica Vigna and Alana O’Neill. Though Nethercott appeared in only 5 games last year, she started her first career game in the season-opening loss against La Salle and registered a career-high 46 minutes in the Orange’s first victory of the season against Connecticut.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMany of Nethercott’s early memories in soccer are with close friends and family. She grew up playing with her best friends. Her father was her coach. Nethercott said her father helped her throughout her entire journey in soccer, including when she hurt her ankle. After the injury, she set a goal for the years ahead.“I realized that I wanted to go far in this and not let it end in two years,” Nethercott said,She didn’t. As a senior, she helped lead her team to a 21-3 record, including 14-2 in league play. That was the Tigers’ best record during her time there, and it earned Ridgefield the No. 2 ranking in the state of Connecticut.When it came time to pick a school, the choice seemed simple, Nethercott said. Her dad is an alumnus of Syracuse, and her sister, Caroline, is a student at SU. When Caroline visited Syracuse, Nethercott often accompanied her and attended SU soccer camps.Two years after arriving to Syracuse, Nethercott is focused on filling the gaps left behind by two key defenders who graduated last spring.Last season, Vigna and O’Neill started every game for SU. In their combined 146 games played over their collegiate career, they started all but three and were the backbones of the Syracuse defense. Nethercott often reflects on the advice they gave her.“Be confident, and you can achieve whatever you set yourself to,” Nethercott said of their message. “If you keep working out a goal and are tough, you’re going to get time.”Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorNethercott spent much of her summer on the field to improve the technical aspects of her game — footwork and clearing — which she considers her weaknesses. A central defender for most of her career, she changed her position to right back because the SU coaches said the position was open. She worked in that position all summer to fill the role. Sophomore defender Shannon Aviza said she can see Nethercott taking one of the spots vacated by O’Neill and Vigna.Her main competitor for playing time this year is sophomore Clarke Brown. But for the best friends on and off the field, Nethercott said in order for the team to succeed in its ACC schedule, she and Brown need to push each other and improve together.center_img Published on September 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew When Molly Nethercott was a sophomore at Ridgefield (CT) High School, she suffered a broken ankle and was forced to spend time away from the soccer field. During that absence, the defender realized her desire to continue her soccer career was too strong to resist.“When I was out, I was like ‘I really miss this,’” Nethercott recalled.Throughout the remainder of her time at Ridgefield, Nethercott saw her minutes on the field increase as she took on a larger role. And now she may have the opportunity to do the same.last_img read more

7-year Champs League jinx over as Benzema leads Madrid’s rout

first_imgJose Mourinho has led Real Madrid through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in seven years, ousting Olympique Lyonnais with a comfortable 3-0 victory on the night, 4-1 on aggregate.Marcelo scored towards the end of the first half, before the tie was killed off by Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria.Los Blancos moved into the lead 10 minutes before the interval, with Marcelo scoring a wonderful effort. Driving in from the left flank, the Brazilian played a one-two with Cristiano Ronaldo before showing composure at the edge of the box to defy Dejan Lovren. With just Hugo Lloris to beat, the left-back completed the job, despite the France international custodian getting a significant hand to the ball.Midway through the second half, after controlling matters for the most part, los Blancos finally got the second goal that allowed them valuable breathing space. A hopeful long ball forward confused Dejan Lovren and Cris, allowing Benzema through to effectively oust his former team by slotting the ball in between the legs of Lloris.OL looked increasingly ragged, and with a quarter of an hour remaining, another simple long ball caught the Frenchmen out, and they were punished by Di Maria, who latched onto Mesut Oezil’s flicked header to before chipping his shot past Lloris.Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas had said earlier this week that he anticipated the home side attempting to play out a scoreless draw, but there was little evidence of such intent from Madrid in the early stages as they pushed players forward in dangerous waves. Much pre-match speculation had circulated over the participation of Cristiano Ronaldo, and it would be the Portuguese player, installed in his usual position in los Blancos’ attack, who had the first direct effort on goal. Lloris, however, was well positioned to save the header.Ronaldo would flit in and out of the game, but despite being a largely peripheral figure he would draw another save from the visiting goalkeeper, who had to work hard to push away a fierce shot from the corner of the area.OL largely dealt well with Madrid’s early forays and offered some threat on the break. Lisandro Lopez, who was absent in the first leg, was making a nuisance of himself and smacked an early volley comfortably high but Cesar Delgado had Iker Casillas scrambling to push away a well-placed low drive.After opening the scoring, los Blancos were suddenly buzzing. Lloris had to make a smart reflex stop to turn a Benzema shot over the top and little over a minute later the French striker had a header correctly disallowed for offside.Les Gones adopted a more attacking stance after the break, but it was still the home side who were looking more dangerous. Mesut Oezil offered the first serious moment of danger, but after a flowing attack his shot was deflected over by Cris. Lyon increasingly pushed players forward but got little change from their hosts, who threatened constantly when they broke. Benzema, moments after striking the second, flashed a shot goalwards that needed a smart touch over the top from Lloris, while the best OL could muster were Bafetimbi Gomis’ shots that Casillas dealt with sufficiently.One year ago, Real Madrid suffered a dark night against les Gones at the Bernabeu, but Mourinho thoroughly exorcised the ghosts, leading the nine-time European champions through to the last eight without any great drama.Now amongst the elite of the elite for the first time in seven seasons, Madrid will be aiming to rubber stamp their status as the continent’s most successful club by becoming the first team to lift 10 European Cups.Source: Goallast_img read more