Borg van der Velde has cemented her role as starter for No. 6 Syracuse

 

Borg van der Velde has cemented her role as starter for No. 6 Syracuse

first_img Published on September 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+ Prior to the season, Syracuse was tasked with replacing its starting goalie. The only two replacements for SU head coach Ange Bradley were freshmen.Through three games, it appeared the starter was as clear as: Borg van der Velde had played 175 shutout minutes to Emma Likly’s 35. Even so, Bradley refused to name an everyday goalie.“You know,” Bradley said in late August, “I think it’s just a week-by-week thing.”Van der Velde has since played every minute (421) for No. 6 Syracuse (8-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast), cementing herself as a defensive stalwart in net. She has posted seven shutouts with her only struggle coming from Wake Forest, which scored two on the Ede, Netherlands, native. Come Saturday when SU hosts No. 7 North Carolina (6-2, 1-1), van der Velde will play a critical role and look for another shutout to bolster her freshman resume.“I think she just really took over without a practice,” junior Jennifer Bleakney said of van der Velde. “That’s something that we love, someone that is really confident in themselves”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen a player lifts a shot toward the upper corner of the cage, the chance of a save dips. But when SU does two shooting lines in pregame warmups, van der Velde flies from side to side, using her 6-foot-1 frame and quickness to make the stop.Whenever opponents push transition, All-American backs Lies Lagerweij and Roos Weers start yelling, commanding the midfield in front of them. But a third, muffled voice often cuts through when van der Velde, who can see the entire field, interjects with orders of her own.“If you want someone to step right,” Lagerweij said, “it needs to happen in a situation and you need to demand it.”Though the freshman has not been tested often in games, having faced only 41 shots through nine games, she has made some key saves to preserve shutouts.Against then-No. 24 Rutgers on Sept. 17, with Syracuse leading 3-0, van der Velde charged from her crease to stymie a partial breakaway and ended up trucking the Scarlet Knight attacker. Rutgers was awarded a penalty corner off the play, but the stop had been made.“A lot of times in the past,” Bradley said, “we might be dominating a game and let up one or two easy goals.”Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorCurrently, van der Velde is second in the country in goals against average (.23) and save percentage (.882), trailing only Cornell’s Maddie Henry in both categories. She is the only freshman in the top 10 for save percentage.Even after van der Velde’s save percentage finally blemished on Sept. 16 after allowing two goals in SU’s only loss of the season, she had moved to the next objective.“I mean,” van der Velde said after the loss, “it’s not like, ‘Oh yikes, I lost my shutout streak.’ … we’re just going to pick it up now and beat Rutgers tomorrow.”The next day, with van der Velde in goal, Syracuse shutout Rutgers, 4-0. Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *