Hoos vs. ‘Cuse: UVA hands Syracuse field hockey third straight loss
Hoos vs. 'Cuse: UVA hands Syracuse field hockey third straight loss
Back at J.S. Coyne Stadium for the first time since a 2-1 victory over Louisville on Oct. 30, the No. 11 Syracuse field hockey team slogged through a rainy afternoon and fell to No. 13 Virginia, 2-1. The Orange finished the game 0-9 on penalty corners while UVA finished 1-4.
The loss makes three straight for the Orange to start April. The 2015 National Champions head into their final regular season game on a skid, but will look to right the ship against the top team in the country Sunday.
Despite coming up short, head coach Ange Bradley said the team was glad to be playing in Syracuse.
“We were all excited to be home,” Bradley. “It’s good to be home. I’m disappointed we didn’t defend the legacy of success on Coyne today, but we did play hard and we have a young group. They’re learning, and they were happy to be able to be back home.”
The Cavaliers started with possession, but SU won the ball within the first 30 seconds. The Orange worked down into the circle, but their first chance was thwarted by a clear.
UVA controlled play for the opening of the first quarter and made multiple passes in front of the goal. As the quarter progressed, ‘Cuse found more time in the offensive third, but neither team broke through to register a shot on goal.
Freshman back Eefke van den Nieuwenhof stopped a scoring chance on a long pass by knocking the ball out of the air off a bounce. Her interception broke up the best opportunity of the first quarter, and the frame expired 0-0.
To start the second, UVA finally recorded a shot, but it zipped across the turf wide of the left post. With just over 10 minutes before the half, the Cavaliers were awarded the first penalty corner of the game. The resulting shot rang low off the left post, bounced perfectly to the stick of a crashing Meghen Hengerer and was shuffled into the back of the net.
Less than two minutes later, ‘Cuse was awarded back to back penalty corners. On the first, UVA turned away three shots on goal. The second, less than 30 seconds later, met the same fate as another high shot was blocked away by Lauren Hausheer.
Just before the half, UVA drew another penalty corner up by one. An SU defender slid in front of the first shot to block the chance, but her defensive play drew another call. Emily Streib picked up her first save of the game, and the Orange fended off both corners to keep the deficit at a single goal heading into the half.
The second half opened with more penalty trouble as Romee Joosten was given a green card that sat her out of the game for two minutes, but she was released with no impact on the scoreboard. Moments later, Virginia took their fifth penalty corner of the game, but Streib made two miraculous saves while stacking the pads to keep the game at one.
Streib’s saves sparked an offensive run as the Orange stormed down the pitch to even the game. After a video review, Hailey Bitters scored her second of the season on an assist from Pleun Lammers. With the momentum captured, SU began attacking more aggressively as the bench cheered them on raucously.
UVA caught a break as Joosten was handed a yellow card which left the Orange shorthanded for five of the last seven minutes of the third. A concurrent green card further slowed the ‘Cuse run, but both penalties were killed with little danger.
A beautiful set of passes, kickstarted as Lammers spun to find a teammate in stride, led to three straight penalty corners for the Orange with a minute to play in the quarter. Syracuse failed to capitalize on any of the chances and ended the quarter in a stalemate.
Both teams opened the fourth with scoring chances, but UVA managed to creep behind the SU defense for a sure shot on goal thwarted by a defensive recovery by van den Nieuwenhof. At the other end, SU made good runs but didn’t register a shot on frame.
The loss notwithstanding, van den Nieuwenhof said the team had elements of their game to draw on heading into Sunday’s game.
“I think we did a really good job defensively,” van den Nieuwenhof said. “We played as a team. We worked together around the circle. Circle defense was really good, unfortunately we gave up two goals.”
Under 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Orange were awarded their sixth penalty corner of the game and again came up empty. On their seventh and eighth tries two minutes later, the team made an extra pass before their shot attempts, but the score remained 1-1.
Joosten was given her second yellow card of the game shortly thereafter, putting the Orange down for most of the final 5:39. UVA capitalized less than two minutes later as the Cavaliers went fully on the attack. Annie McDonough put the Cavaliers ahead 2-1 from five yards in front of the cage.
With 2:24 remaining, with the game teetering in the balance, SU took their ninth penalty corner of the contest, but the result was identical. The inability to score on corners haunted Syracuse throughout the entire game.
With the loss, the Orange moved to 8-7 on the season heading into their Sunday matchup against No. 1 UNC. ‘Cuse will face off at home against the Tar Heels at 1 p.m.