No. 10 SU field hockey opens ACC play with win over Duke

No. 10 SU opens ACC play with win over Duke

The Orange took a commanding five-goal lead to defeat the No. 18 Blue Devils.
Published: September 17, 2022
Eefke Van Den Nieuwenhof (21) sends the ball towards the goal during a game on Friday, September 16, 2022.
SU's Eefke Van Den Nieuwenhof (left) sends the ball toward the goal.

No. 10 Syracuse field hockey (6-1) won its conference opener Friday in a Top 20 matchup against No. 18 Duke.

The 5-1 win for the Orange was a close-fought battle. Both teams had stretches where they dominated play; however, Syracuse was just more clinical in front of the net.

The Orange steamed out to a 5-0 lead in the first three quarters on the back of two goals from forward Charlotte De Vries. Midfielder Joy Haarman and forward Quirine Comans each added one goal to the tally. As time expired in the third quarter, back Eefke van den Nieuwenhof added one more point to the scoreboard, bringing Syracuse five goals ahead.

“I think we have a lot of talent in the attacking end,” De Vries said of her team’s offensive effort. “It has been getting better every day, just finding those connections and getting more used to each other.”

It was not all good for the Orange though, as its traditionally stout defense deteriorated throughout the contest. It began with allowing four penalty corners in just over a minute in the middle of the second quarter. Though the Blue Devils were not able to crack the Orange in this instant, their pressure did not let up causing the Orange to concede three green cards.

“The fourth quarter I believe we were sloppy for sure,” SU head coach Ange Bradley said. “I could even agree that the third quarter we started to get sloppy, but I think overall we had pretty good pressure on them and in the back third felt really good.”

Though the Blue Devils were able to slice the Orange open once in the fourth quarter, it was an overall strong performance for Syracuse as it finished the game second in the conference in goals per game and third in the conference for goals against per game.

“I am pleased with the team’s performance today,” Bradley said. “To be able to start the [conference] season off one and oh, really happy to put some numbers on the board. A lot to learn and it was a great night for us.”

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Sabine Van Den Eijnden (32) fights for possession of the ball.

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Syracuse Field Hockey players celebrate after scoring a goal.

The Orange again had some difficulties offensively from penalty corners. Though the 3-7 stat line looks respectable, when you look deeper you can see that the Orange was only 1-5 when primary penalty corner inserter, midfielder SJ Quigley made the insertion. However, when midfielder Lieke Leeggangers made the insertion the Orange was 2-2.

“I think it is just a circumstance of rotations, who’s on the field who’s off the field Lieke is our second in line of three or four,” Bradley said of Leeggangers taking a greater share of the penalty corners. “So, it’s not necessarily one over the other, it is just by substitution.”

Looking ahead, the Orange face Hofstra (3-4) at home at 1 p.m. Sunday.

“We get an opportunity to play on Coyne [J.S. Coyne Stadium] and there is a lot of amazing women that have worn the uniforms before the kids here and we always represent that with a lot of pride,” Bradley said of her first unranked opponent in two weeks.