Mottershead rises to captain role in 1st season with Orange

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 19, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Alyscha Mottershead is not going to say she is the most qualified player for the captain’s job as a sophomore. But when Megan Bellingham was lost for the season with an injury, SU head coach Phil Wheddon was faced with filling that role for the second time this season. And he has found a viable candidate in Mottershead. A viable but unlikely candidate. Aside from being a sophomore, Mottershead just joined the Orange this year as a transfer from Iowa. She began donning the captain’s band for the Orange during an Oct. 8 matchup with West Virginia. She has established herself as a leader during her short time at SU, but she won’t be the first to boast about her new role on the team. ‘I feel like a lot of players could fulfill that role wearing the band or not,’ Mottershead said. ‘I don’t think it’s just a one-person job. I think that the fact that I was recognized by the team in that role means a lot to me.’ The Orange was left with a void when Bellingham’s chronic knee problems caught up with her for the second time in two years. Bellingham played her last game Oct. 3 against DePaul.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But Wheddon had a very capable candidate at his fingertips. Mottershead, a former member of Canada’s U-17 national team, was captain for her squad during the bronze medal game in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier while she was still in high school. So when Bellingham went down, Mottershead was ready for the challenge. ‘I think just being asked to be captain and the fact that Megan couldn’t play that game is definitely an honor,’ Mottershead said. ‘It means that they respect me, but I respect everyone on the team and anyone that could have been given that role.’ Mottershead transferred from Iowa after last season, but she was a force during her freshman campaign with the Hawkeyes, recording 11 points on three goals and five assists. The sophomore’s modesty is a quality that has made her an excellent replacement. Her teammates said Mottershead will be the first to admit that the rest of the Orange is just as worthy as her. And Mottershead’s qualifications have made her an excellent choice for team captain. With just less than two years under her belt at the collegiate level, her ceiling is high. ‘It just says that she has a lot of time to grow as a captain,’ junior midfielder Amanda Morris said. ‘It’s really good to see that she’s stepped up, and she can become the captain of the Syracuse squad.’ Mottershead was familiar with teammates Kayla Afonso and Tina Romagnuolo before transferring to SU. Mottershead had the chance to play with Afonso and Romagnuolo in a national training center in Toronto, Ontario. Bryan Rosenveld, the coach of the U-17 Canadian team, instilled many leadership qualities into the trio during their time with him. That was the first step in making her the kind of player who would be ready to be a captain as a first-year player at SU. ‘It was like a college atmosphere without the schooling,’ Mottershead said. ‘It’s definitely really intense, and we had fitness routines and practices, but he puts you into the mindset of a national player and being able to work under that kind of pressure.’ But this type of youth and leadership has had a positive effect on the Orange so far this season. With no seniors likely to be in SU’s starting lineup for the remainder of the season, the last two games provide Mottershead the opportunity to grow and gain experience with her teammates. It excites players about what the future may hold, including sophomore defender Skylar Sabbag. ‘It’s amazing because we’re so young, and sometimes I think about when we’re seniors, imagine how solid we’re going to be,’ Sabbag said. ‘We’re going to have so much depth and seniority, and it’s just going to be crazy how unstoppable we could be.’ [email protected]last_img

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