Claire Webb helps anchor Syracuse’s defense without much recognition

first_imgClaire Webb doesn’t really stand out on Syracuse’s back line. She doesn’t score like the other defenders and she doesn’t win the awards her two All-American fellow defenders receive. And she’s fine with that.“I’ve never really been one to care about that recognition from outside sources,” Webb said.At the start of the 2016 season, the then-freshman from Exton, Pennsylvania, played in all 19 games for No. 10 Syracuse (11-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast), starting 18, the most of any freshman. Now a sophomore, Webb has started in all 15 games in the 2017 season. Despite immediately seeing the field, Webb is often blotted out by teammates, Roos Weers and Lies Lagerweij. However, SU head coach Ange Bradley saw Webb’s potential to contribute at Syracuse.“As a true freshman coming out of high school, she played in the midfield in the ACC just about every minute of every game,” Bradley said. “From her first year, she’s had a big role and will continue to have a big role.”Webb has experience playing in the midfield and on the back line in her almost two seasons at Syracuse. Her defensive style supports her teammates, Weers said, even if she doesn’t accumulate points herself; Webb has only one goal and one assist, while Weers and Lagerweij have 15 and 13 points, respectively. However, their success is bolstered support they receive from Webb.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think that the defensive aspect is a really big part of my game; I really enjoy it,” Webb said. “I like how much thinking is involved and how you have to set other people up.”Bradley recognizes Webb’s consistency, calling her a “workhorse” and a “Steady Eddie.” She compared Webb’s position to former player and current student coaching assistant Serra Degnan. In previous seasons, Degnan was the one supporting Lagerweij and Weers while the two backs kick started the offense.“The tough thing is,” Bradley said of Webb, “she’s never going to be recognized.”Although she is comfortable in the back, Webb perceives her own strengths and weaknesses. In order to get involved in the offense like her defensive counterparts, Webb said, she will have to play to her own skill set, meaning shorter passes, unlike the long balls Weers and Lagerweij fire down the field.“Claire’s very smart,” Weers said, “and she [completes] a good combination with me and Lies in the back.”Webb has two more years to advance her game, and will continue to develop in her position. She challenges herself as a player, goals or no goals, even when no one seems to notice.“I’ve always been a team player,” Webb said. “I don’t really need somebody to recognize me.” Comments Published on October 17, 2017 at 9:35 pm Contact Kristin: ktogrady@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more