Sports SUmmary: Field hockey openers, soccer exhibition nixed due to COVID-19

Sports SUmmary: Field hockey, men's soccer games nixed for COVID-19

Two field hockey games against Duke and men's soccer's warm-up against Virginia won't be played this weekend
Published: September 17, 2020
Charlotte De Vries sends the ball across the field for a Syracuse Field Hockey gain.
Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey team selection Charlotte De Vries, shown here sending the ball during a 2019 game against St. Joseph's, will have to wait to live up to the honor as SU field hockey's season opener against Duke this Friday has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

Syracuse field hockey saw its season put on hold yet again as the weekend doubleheader against Duke was postponed after multiple team members were identified through contact tracing as possibly being exposed to COVID-19.

On Friday afternoon, the men’s soccer exhibition against Virginia slated for Saturday at SU Soccer Stadium was canceled, citing a positive COVID-19 test for a member of the program.

SU Athletics said the soccer players were quarantining and no other athletes had tested positive.

The field hockey players were identified as potentially exposed to coronavirus after interacting with an individual not affiliated with the team.

The field hockey team was scheduled to host Duke for the season opener Friday and face the Blue Devils again on Sunday afternoon. As of Thursday afternoon, no date has been released for the postponed games – and no word has been released as to whether the remainder of the season will continue as planned.

Players are now quarantining in accordance with CDC and New York State guidelines. As of Thursday, all members of the field hockey team had tested negative for COVID-19.

Restrictions had already been put in place in an attempt to protect student-athletes and prevent the spread of coronavirus, including not allowing fans at any home events for the foreseeable future.

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Marek Dolezaj (21) catches a pass during the game at the Carrier Dome on Oct 27, 2019. Dolezaj is one of a few seniors hoping to make the most of their season despite coronavirus restrictions.

SU basketball one step closer to scheduling season

The NCAA’s Division I Council approved moving the start date of the 2020-21 college basketball season to Wednesday, Nov. 25. Unlike other sports, no exhibition games or closed scrimmages will be allowed before that date.

The men’s and women’s college basketball seasons were slated to begin on Nov. 10. The decision to push back the first jump ball of the season was motivated by the opportunity to create a bubble of sorts for players and staff.

The Nov. 25 start date will coincide with most school’s Thanksgiving breaks – where many students are leaving campus and not returning until mid-January, at the earliest. This will lessen the number of potential contact players have with people not affiliated with the team.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” said NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”

The new date also meant altering schedules for almost all DI teams. According to the press release, men’s basketball teams are allowed to schedule 24 regular season games and participate in one multiple-team event that can include up to three games or play an additional regular season game if the team does not participate in a multi-team event.

Women’s basketball teams can schedule 23 regular season games and participate in one multi-team event that includes up to four games or opt for 25 regular season games if the team does not compete in a multi-team event.

Teams can begin practice on Oct. 14 and are limited to a maximum of 30 practices before the season starts. Syracuse basketball has yet to release this season’s schedule.

SU had previously announced home games against non-conference opponents Maryland-Baltimore County (Nov. 10), Green Bay (Dec. 8), Jacksonville State (Dec. 10) and Mercer (Dec. 13).

SU XC sweeps weekly ACC awards

Syracuse’s men’s and women’s cross country teams started the season off strong, sweeps the first ACC weekly awards of the season following the first meet.

Redshirt senior and transfer JP Trojan and senior Amanda Vestri were awarded Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Performer of the Week, respectively, for their first place finishes at Army last weekend.

Freshmen Sam Lawler and Sarah Connelly earned ACC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Rookie of the Week, respectively, for strong showings in their collegiate debuts.