Women's Soccer

Freshman Lysianne Proulx readies herself for a shot in goal

Alexandra Moreo | Photo Editor

Lysianne Proulx, a freshman, is competing to become Syracuse’s starting goalkeeper, head coach Phil Wheddon said.

Lysianne Proulx’s father needed an answer. His young daughter played soccer, hockey, and ringette, a women’s sport similar to hockey, and he told her that she needed to decide which sport to pursue. She was unsure. She couldn’t decide. So, she told her father to pick for her.

“I asked him what he thought I should do,” Proulx said, “and he told me straight up that I should go with soccer.”

A few years later, Proulx found her way onto the field as a freshman at Syracuse, always when the games are out of hand and the Orange has turned on autopilot. Proulx has yet to face a shot in three games. But Proulx may not be SU’s (5-2-1) backup goalkeeper for long.

“Once you get into the ACC,” head coach Phil Wheddon said, “as I’ve told everyone on the team, including Lysianne and Courtney (Brosnan) as well, the best players have to play.”

Despite Brosnan’s pedigree — the senior goalkeeper led the ACC in saves two seasons ago — Proulx has a chance to overtake her for the starting job. Syracuse enters Atlantic Coast Conference play Thursday.

“(I’m) 100 percent confident she’ll be ready to fill in,” Brosnan said. “She’s been doing a great job and I know that it’ll be a smooth transition for her to get on the field.”

Raised in Montreal, Proulx first played soccer at about 6. Her decision to play in net came when no one else on her team wanted to. Soon after accepting her role as goalkeeper, Proulx fell in love with the position and began to learn its nuances.

She quickly began to rise through the club ranks. When she was 14, she made the U-15 Canadian National Team. There, she competed in three CONCACAF Championships, winning gold in 2014. She was also awarded the Golden Glove award, given to the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

Being able to work with a former goalkeeper in Wheddon — who has worked with U.S. National teams to develop goalies, such as Hope Solo and Tim Howard — attracted Proulx to Syracuse. Proximity to her home in Montreal was an added bonus. She enrolled early in January 2017 to get extra reps during spring practice. That added time allowed Proulx to adjust to the college game.

“She has the ability to make special saves, as does Courtney (Brosnan), but in a different way,” Wheddon said. “She’s very brave, she has a different technical style, and she’s very good with her feet.”

Having another international-level goalkeeper in Proulx, alongside Brosnan, who played for Irish national teams, is a luxury, Wheddon said. Yet in that opportunity remains a challenge.

Brosnan is currently the starter, Wheddon said, partly because Proulx missed the week leading up to the team’s first regular-season game to attend her national team camp. With ACC fast approaching, Wheddon needs to decide soon. Though, Wheddon said, competition could extend into conference schedule, Brosnan has experience against those teams. Still, Proulx will be ready for any opportunities that come.

“When you’re playing with someone that’s actually really good,” Proulx said, “it’s pushing you even more to be better.”

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