Zoe Wilson leans on national team experience to adjust at Syracuse

first_imgFor Zoe Wilson, the differences between her home in Ireland and her new home in Syracuse go down to the smallest detail.What she always called “the goal” has become “the cage.” Wilson is familiar with “leading it home” but must become accustomed to “cutting” here in the U.S.It’s not an easy transition from Ireland to the United States. While most of the language stays the same, subtle differences in vocabulary between the countries have proved to be an obstacle.And while adjusting to a new country has been difficult, she’s using field hockey to ease her transition to college and the U.S., and wants to help Syracuse vie for a national championship after the Orange fell one win short last year.“I know what to expect,” Wilson said. “… It’s given me a sharpness and edge that I can bring into the team.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWilson represented the U-18 and U-21 Irish national teams, serving as the captain of her U-18 team and playing up with the 2014 U-21 team as one of the youngest players on the roster. In two games for the U-21 squad last summer, Wilson scored three of Ireland’s 10 goals in that time, tied for most over that span.Wilson has a familiar face in Syracuse senior forward Emma Russell, a fellow Ireland native and former U-21 teammate. Syracuse’s star player has taken Wilson under her wing.SU head coach Ange Bradley expects Wilson to contribute though she isn’t sure what role she will initially hold.“To put expectations upon a freshman is really difficult to do,” Bradley said. “But for her first time, I want her to do the things she does well — step up, pressure the ball and organize people and move into the attack. We’re really going to try to keep it simple and expand her role.”In the team’s first preseason scrimmage against Bucknell, Wilson created offense from the back of the formation. Bradley praised Wilson’s aggressive defense and ability to push the offense from that spot.Wilson admitted that she’s had to adjust to how quickly the game moves in the U.S. over the past few weeks. She described field hockey as much more “static” in Ireland and that she’s had to work hard in practice to play more fluidly on the move.Work in “ball drills,” where players sprint after a ball far in front of them before pushing it up the field, has helped the freshman midfielder play and make decisions on the move.“I feel more at home every day,” Wilson said. “It’s taken an adjustment, but it’s still hockey.”Russell has been impressed with how quickly her teammate picked up the slight differences and said Wilson picked up the movement on the back line of the defense faster than she did for the front-line movement her freshman year.Both Bradley and Russell think that no matter what Wilson’s role is at the season’s start, she has a bright future ahead of her in Syracuse.Said Russell: “She’s landed on her feet and even though she’s still learning, you can tell she belongs.” Comments Published on August 25, 2015 at 7:14 pm Contact Liam: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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