SU field hockey tops Duke 5-1 ; moves on to ACC semis

SU field hockey takes down Duke; moves on to ACC semis

The second-seeded Orange will face North Carolina on Friday after an offensive surge in the quarterfinals.
Published: November 4, 2021
Syracuse Women's Field Hockey vs Cornell University
Sienna Pegram, pictured here on Oct. 31, 2021, and Syracuse advanced to the ACC Championship Semifinals.

Hosting the ACC Tournament for the first time, Syracuse field hockey advanced to the semifinals after defeating Duke 5-1 on Thursday at J.S. Coyne Field.

“I think we managed the game,” coach Ange Bradley said. “We came out and let loose.”

The second-seeded Orange jumped on the seventh-seeded Blue Devils early with a goal by SJ Quigley less than a minute into the game. Duke appeared to tie the game later in the quarter, but the goal was called off after an official review.

The Orange rolled the rest of the quarter with additional scores by Willemijn Boogert and Hailey Bitters to take a 3-0 advantage.

Duke finally got on the board in the second with a goal by Hannah Miller. The Blue Devils had another rush later in the quarter, but the Orange came up with a defensive stop.

That stop led to instant offense for Syracuse, as they flipped the field and tallied an Eefke van den Nieuwenhof goal with under three minutes to go in the first half. SU carried a 4-1 lead into the half.

“I think we got a little comfortable (in the second quarter), but Duke taught us a really good lesson that you can’t be comfortable,” Bradley said. “We found a way to get back in it the last four minutes.”

The Blue Devils came out firing in the third with three penalty corner chances near the midway point of the quarter. However, they were denied by the Orange on the first two attempts, and the third try resulted in another disallowed goal.

The rest of the quarter was mostly uneventful until Syracuse made a charge in the final minute, culminating with van den Nieuwenhof’s second goal of the game with only a few seconds remaining.

Duke continued to push forward on offense in the fourth quarter, but Syracuse held strong with great defense, including a diving save by Brooke Borzymowski late in the contest. Neither team scored in the fourth, keeping the final score at 5-1 for the victorious Orange.

Four of Syracuse’s five goals came off penalty corners, an area that the Orange have been looking to improve upon.

“We’ve been working on it all season, and today all the puzzle pieces fell together,” van den Nieuwenhof said. “I think we can be really proud of it.”

As the tournament host, Syracuse was supported by many Orange fans in the stands, including student-athletes from other Orange teams.

“I think the atmosphere was amazing,” van den Nieuwenhof said.

All of Thursday’s ACC matches started later than scheduled due to the inclement weather, which included some light snow.

Syracuse will face the No. 3 seed North Carolina in the semifinals on Friday. The Tar Heels beat Wake Forest 3-2 in overtime in their quarterfinals match.

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is a magazine, news and digital journalism graduate student and digital producer for The NewsHouse.