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Daley looks to build on return against Notre Dame in ACC tournament

first_img Published on April 24, 2014 at 1:40 am Contact Tyler: [email protected] On Saturday against Notre Dame, senior midfielder Bridget Daley scored a goal, something she has done 34 times as a member of Syracuse.But after missing most of this season with a broken foot, Daley said she couldn’t remember a more emotional goal than her most recent conversion.“The celebration afterwards … I’ll never forget that,” Daley said. “(My teammates) were so excited for me, and that made it even better.”Able to take the field once again, Daley is ready to make the most of her final games in a Syracuse uniform. She’ll look to continue her strong return when the No. 1 Orange (15-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast) meets the No. 8 Fighting Irish (9-7, 2-5) for the second straight game in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament at 3 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Mass.Although the injury forced Daley to trade in her stick for a walking boot, she didn’t lose her enthusiasm during what has been a special season for the Orange. Now, all she wants is the chance to be a factor during the stretch run, although how much she’ll contribute on the field has yet to be determined.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Just putting on the uniform again for the first time was exciting,” Daley said. “Now, I have this rapport on the sideline, and I’m still into that. Words can’t describe it.”The senior began the year strong by picking up an assist and a draw control in the season opener against Jacksonville. One game later, though, the break happened. As Orange head coach Gary Gait carried her off the field, Daley could only hope she would be ready for postseason play.Fellow senior Alyssa Murray can relate, as she dealt with an injury during her senior year of high school. She said that experience was hard enough, so it’s difficult to imagine how tough this season has been for Daley.“It’s a whole different ballgame, so I think she’s handled it very gracefully,” Murray said. “She’s been an incredible leader off the field, so I think she’s just really excited to be back on.”Daley said her rehab was frustrating at times, but she made a vow to remain an enthusiastic member of the team. That’s why she fully embraced the role of cheerleader, often shouting congratulatory remarks and hopping around on the sideline after goals or big plays. As she put it, everyone on the team has a voice and a part to play.She said the entire experience brought her closer to the entire squad, especially the reserve players whose sacrifices often go unnoticed.“I already had respect for them, but I gained so much more,” Daley said. “Day in, day out, they are out there cheering and don’t get their shot on the field.”Now, they can expect Daley to bring that same raw emotion into the lineup.Gait is happy to have another layer of depth in his midfield unit, but he’s even more excited for the intangibles Daley provides, mainly her intensity and scrappy play.“She’s going to be a huge boost to our energy, our enthusiasm,” Gait said. “She’ll really keep us fired up in this tough ACC and then playoff run.”Daley is entering the ACC tournament with the realistic expectation that she might not play very much, especially as she tests out her recovered left foot.Either way, she doesn’t mind. She just wants to help SU close in on an elusive championship in whatever way she can.“If it’s still on the sideline, then so be it, because we’re ranked No. 1 and put ourselves in a great position,” Daley said. “If it’s getting some minutes, great. Wherever I can contribute, I’ll be happy.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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