first_imgOn the open grass at Hookway fields, Syracuse players grabbed their bags and headed out of the practice grounds. Missing from the team was sophomore midfielder Georgia Allen. She was with her other team — thousands of miles away, in England.Allen, a member of the under-20 English Women’s National Team, is among the Syracuse (5-3-2, 0-1-1 Atlantic Coast) players who return to their home country throughout the season for their respective national teams. SU head coach Phil Wheddon expects other players to leave this year, not specifying whom. But in past years, Syracuse has had Swedish, New Zealand, Canadian, and United States national team players leave SU for brief stints abroad.Wheddon said players juggling two teams at once is not uncommon. Rather, it’s a double-edged sword: It means they are talented players, but he can’t put them on the field every game.“That’s the blessing and the curse of having national-team players,” Wheddon said. “We want them to grow and develop here. To do that, you have to go to these camps.”Allen did not return from England until the night before last Thursday’s game at Wake Forest. Wheddon said the week before the game that he spoke with Allen while she was overseas. He wanted to see how travel affected her and whether she was OK to play against the Demon Deacons.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAllen, who started the previous four games, did not start the night after she landed.  She played about 32 minutes and did not record a stat. It was the only game this season she didn’t record a shot.“I don’t expect to start,” Allen said Wednesday. “I have to earn my spot again.”Allen also said she was “a little bit exhausted” from the travel. She said she assumed that, since she wasn’t practicing with the team the week before the game, she would not get her usual playing time. In her place, Syracuse rotated in four freshmen. Allen, who plays a pivotal role on both sides of the field, was limited in the Orange’s ACC opener. That opened time for the freshman to make an impact.Jessica Vigna said after the game that the freshmen group performed well. Despite the 1-0 loss, Wheddon and Vigna each think they stepped up in place of Allen and others who were dealing with nagging injuries.“Baptism by fire,” Wheddon quipped.The week before the first game this season, freshman goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx was offered a spot on the Canadian Under-20 Women’s National Team. She accepted, though Wheddon said that her being gone for a week did not bode well when it came toward winning the starting job. He said she was “basically handing the job over to senior All-ACC goalie (Courtney) Brosnan.”Leaving midway through the season like Allen does not have the same effect on strategy and substitutions, Wheddon said, because the personnel is more established than it is earlier in the season. Nonetheless, Allen appeared to have secured a starting spot, but has not started in either of the two conference games since her trip to England.Allen said she will likely make trips back once per month. Her mother said it could be as little as two weeks in between trips. And while switching time zones and missing practice time was difficult for Allen, she said the jet lag will not affect her down the road.“I’ll get used to it,” she said.Syracuse will have to as well. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 27, 2017 at 9:46 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @MikeJMcClearylast_img