Anghel develops confidence, poise en route to becoming Syracuse all-time great

first_img Published on September 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Karen Anghel remembers walking her daughter, Brittany, into her kindergarten classroom on the first day of school.Brittany, who was always very talkative at home, suddenly could not find the words to greet her teachers and classmates. The nerves began to well up inside her.“When she got to school, the teachers didn’t know if she could talk. She would just shake her head, ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” Karen Anghel said. “It took a very long time for her to come out of her shell.”But something changed when Anghel stepped onto the soccer field at the age of 6, Karen Anghel said — for the first time, she showed emotion in front of her peers. Confident in her natural ability, she grasped the excitement of breaking out of her social shell.Once an introverted adolescent, Anghel developed a fierce competitive edge that followed her throughout her soccer career. Now the senior goalkeeper at Syracuse, Anghel has transcended her shy nature, comfortable yelling commands to other players and even scolding them for mistakes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShe has a chance to break the record for most career wins and shutouts when the Orange (3-1) faces Farleigh Dickinson (2-1) Thursday at 7 p.m. at SU Soccer Stadium and against Connecticut (2-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Storrs, Conn.“When (Anghel) leaves this program, people will look back and say she was one of the best goalkeepers, if not the best, that Syracuse has ever had,” head coach Phil Wheddon said.Even as a youngster, Anghel loved the thrill of competing.On the field, Anghel strived to be the best player she could through constant dedication and commitment. Besides soccer, Anghel also played softball and basketball, Karen Anghel said, which strengthened her proficiency as a goalie.In basketball, Anghel learned how to judge heights and rebound, Karen Anghel said. As a pitcher in softball, she focused on blocking the ball and throwing accuracy, which are also relevant skills in soccer. The three sports complemented one another.At home, Anghel competed daily with her older brother Danny, Karen Anghel said. Whether it was running sprints in the backyard or playing an intense game of Monopoly in the family living room, Anghel was constantly looking to outduel her brother.That competitive drive is what landed Anghel at Syracuse, Wheddon said. The departure of senior goalie Eliza Bennett-Hattan left a vacancy in net, a hole that Wheddon thought would soon be filled by Anghel, who was a talented recruit from East Meadow, N.Y.“Brittany was a player we felt was going to have an immediate impact,” Wheddon said. “When she showed up her freshman year, the (starting goalie) job was hers to win. She showed that she was the best of the bunch at that time, and she’s continued to evolve.”After sophomore Erin Quinlan started in the Orange’s season-opening defeat to William & Mary, Anghel got her chance.As she warmed up on the field before SU played Old Dominion, Anghel felt the rush of nervous emotion once again. It was like she was taking those dreaded first steps into her unfamiliar kindergarten classroom.But assistant coach Katie Ely calmed Anghel, who overcame her nervousness and stepped onto the field with a renewed sense of hope.“Right before coach (Ely) sent me onto the field, she said, ‘Run away with it’”, Anghel said. “She was referring to the position, and run away with the team; just take this opportunity and make the most of it.”Anghel turned in a three-save shutout as the Orange tied 0-0 in double overtime.She’s started every game since. Commentslast_img

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