Published on October 28, 2016 at 11:35 pm Contact Matthew: firstname.lastname@example.org | @MatthewGut21 The shocks came one after the other: A screaming line-drive shot forcing Hendrik Hilpert to lay out for a save. Back-to-back corner kicks that almost resulted in headers inside the 6-yard box. Short passes penetrating the depleted Syracuse defense. Midway through the first half, Syracuse was down a goal to the nation’s No. 2 team and without its best defender.“Confused, shocked,” Kamal Miller said of Miles Robinson’s red card, which forced the sophomore defender to exit the game. “Nobody saw what really happened, but we just had to rally quickly.”Wake Forest more than doubled the Orange’s shot total in the first half, and in the game as a whole the Demon Deacons tallied 21 shots compared to SU’s six. Down a man for 105 minutes of play, No. 6 Syracuse (10-3-3, 3-2-3 Atlantic Coast) held on for a 1-1 tie against No. 2 Wake Forest (12-2-3, 5-1-2) Friday night in the team’s regular season finale at SU Soccer Stadium. Syracuse remains unbeaten at home this year and will play Wednesday in the first round of the ACC tournament.A win could have meant a first-round bye in the ACC tournament and a higher likelihood at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Despite the tie, SU’s performance further proved it has eschewed the play that plagued it during its four-game winless streak. The Orange has not lost in its last four matches, including three against top-15 teams.Three minutes into Friday’s game, Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre yelled “Defense!” several times. Two minutes later, SU lost its best defender. The loss put the Orange at a disadvantage, forcing players to sink deeper and play a stop-first game. Rather than attempting to pierce the nation’s No. 2 defense, SU sat back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“You practice a certain way all week,” McIntyre said, “and then within five minutes all of that hard work was kind of out the window.”Following Robinson’s removal, Jonathan Hagman and Oyvind Alseth dropped back to cover Jacori Hayes and Ian Harkes, WFU’s top threats. Miller, Louis Cross and John-Austin Ricks backed the SU defense. Mo Adams did not play because he collected his fifth yellow card of the season last week at Clemson.The moves took away much of Syracuse’s ability to attack, but limited the Demon Deacons. The defense’s only blemish came on a Jon Bakero 23rd minute goal. SU’s outlook looked bleak, considering WFU maintained possession for about 80 to 90 percent of the night, according to McIntyre’s and Alseth’s estimations.Twelve minutes later, Syracuse earned a free kick. Miller found the loose ball and struck a ball that chopped into the net. The sophomore blew a kiss to the fans as teammates mobbed him. It was his fifth-career goal and second on the season.“Thank God Kamal was there at the right place, the right time” Alseth said. “Because we didn’t produce many chances, so it was good to capitalize on one of the few we had. If not, it could have been a rough night.”For the remainder of the game, Syracuse stayed back, disrupting run-lanes and spacing close to the 6-yard box. The tight look allowed WFU to dish passes for long possessions and center back-based play. SU players sunk down and played less of a man-to-man defense and clogged lanes.“Nanco, do Lassiter’s work,” McIntyre called out, referencing Chris Nanco’s defensive-minded play.Wake Forest outshot Syracuse, 14-3, in the second half after the 7-3 advantage in the first. If not for stops by Miller and a pair of layout saves by Hilpert, the Demon Deacons could have taken a first half lead.At the end of the first half, WFU’s Hayes pushed Thomas Menke near midfield. Hayes, frustrated at his teammate for missing an assignment, exchanged a few words with Menke. While it was a blip for WFU, it proved SU had done what it needed to do to preserve a tie.“They were magnificent tonight,” McIntyre said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Due to the perception of the type of body that is “best” at sports, most people who make this an issue center the discussion on trans women who compete in female sports divisions. Thus, the debate mainly targets trans women, easily one of the most persecuted and discriminated groups out of our entire population. It wasn’t those tall girls’ fault that I didn’t make varsity. It wasn’t my fault, either. They were born into their bodies, and I was born into mine, and that was OK. I played JV for two years, made friends who I never would’ve talked to without basketball, and my parents got to come to every single game. I had fun. Regulating trans bodies without regulating all other bodies is discriminatory, period. That part of this argument is rather simple. But the more complex issue is the moral side of it — the fact that we, as a society, are even discussing keeping a kid out of sports. When it comes to the debate of how to classify trans athletes, I wish this was the focus of more conversations. Stop worrying about who wins the high school track meet. Focus more on who gets to play ball. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union published an article detailing why it is both illegal and immoral to ban trans girls from school sports. When I saw the headline, I was shocked to find out that banning young girls was even a consideration. Most people grew up playing sports. Some loved it, some hated it. Some got picked last in gym, some went on to become varsity captains. For a lot of people, sports were just a way to kill time when they were young — pick-up games at recess, recreational teams in elementary school, cross country in high school to stay in shape. But many of us loved sports when we were younger, which is why we love them so much today and why sport remains one of the most powerful industries in the world. In reality, I shouldn’t have been surprised. This debate is at the forefront of many intersectional discussions of gender and sport. Martina Navratilova — an LGBTQ+ icon in sports — even took time earlier this year to speak out against transgender athletes competing against cisgender athletes, citing the “unfairness” of the situation. I played junior varsity basketball in high school. I played JV because I was 5-foot-10 on a good day and played post against girls who towered over me by three or four inches. Most games, I just did my best to front the girl I was defending and keep her from getting the ball. I fouled out. A lot. I did my best to compensate with speed and skill, but I wasn’t quick enough, and my hook shot wasn’t reliable enough to balance out my size. Honestly, who are we to tell a kid they can’t play at the elementary, middle or high school level? Who are we to take one of the greatest parts of being kid away from someone just because of the body they were born into? I remember what it was like to be little and just love sports. I wasn’t the greatest athlete as a kid — my dad still swears I didn’t learn how to run properly until middle school — but I was strong and stubborn enough to keep up with most of the girls and even some of the guys in my class. There was nothing better than kickball at recess or dodgeball day in gym class. This conversation is only getting started, and I guarantee that over the coming years it will be brought into legislative and legal battles. But as we continue to move forward in this discussion, I hope we can focus on the humanity, not the trophies, that are connected to it. Think of the kids first, the kids who just want to play ball. At the end of the day, they’re what matters most. The trans girls who this debate focuses on can’t help it either. They were born into their bodies, and that’s not their fault. They just want to play. Maybe they just want to be part of a team, a strong group of girls who they can confide in and rely on. Maybe they do want to compete at a higher level. Maybe they just love to play, the way that many of us have loved to play sports our whole lives. Julia Poe is a senior writing about her personal connection to sports. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs weekly on Thursdays. The fact that only trans women are targeted by this debate is only one of the biggest holes in its logic. There are a lot of parts of this discussion that frustrate me and confuse me and just make me want to cry. The main issue, however, is the concept of denying children’s access to sport.