Field Hockey Exacts Revenge, Beats Princeton in First Round of NCAA Tournament
By: Skyler Wilkes | @swilkes04
CitrusTV Field Hockey Beat Reporter
COLLEGE PARK, M.D. – Eighth-ranked Syracuse entered the NCAA Tournament with a chance to win its second title in program history. Standing in the way though, was No. 7 Princeton. The Tigers had won the last two matchups, outscoring the Orange 10-2. Their most recent meeting, back on September 9th, was SU’s first loss of the season. As a result, the ‘Cuse was determined to avenge itself.
It looked like the result would be similar early on when Claire Donovan scored less than four minutes in. Despite a poke check from Syracuse netminder Brooke Borzymowski, Grace Schulze was able to slip it to the forward for the goal. In their previous meeting, the Orange went almost three quarters without getting on the board. Today, it only took two thirds of one. Quirine Comans stole the ball and then sent it ahead to Charlotte de Vries. The senior then dribbled towards the cage and fired her signature backhand shot.
The second period wasn’t too exciting, except for the last five minutes. Following back-to-back corners and a diving save by Borzymowski, Grace Schulze pushed it in off the rebound. Then, as the clock neared zero, the ‘Cuse got two PC’s of its own. With no time left, Lana Hamilton scored in near identical fashion.
Both teams went into the locker room even at two apiece. They were also tied with seven shots, although Princeton had one more corner.
Following the season’s trend, SU took over in the second half. Less than three minutes in, Comans found Charlotte de Vries again. The senior’s third multi-score game of the year put the Orange in front for the first time all game. There was just one other shot taken in the quarter, which Schulze missed wide left. So, Syracuse was up 3-2 heading into the final frame.
A little into the fourth, Comans received a long pass and went on the attack. In an attempt to make the stop, Princeton goalie Robyn Thompson slide tackled the forward. Consequently, the ‘Cuse were awarded a penalty stroke. Eefke van den Nieuwenhof took it for the first time in her collegiate career and converted to give SU a 4-2 lead.
With five minutes remaining, the Tigers pulled their goalkeeper. The decision ultimately backfired when Quirine Comans broke for the net and dished it to Sabine van den Eijnden for the easy tap in. The grad student’s eighth score of the year marked four unanswered for the Orange. When it was all said and done, Syracuse pulled off the 5-2 upset. The ‘Cuse had its most efficient offensive match of the season, taking 10 shots and landing all of them on target.
SU advances to its 12th ever quarterfinal and is now set to face No. 2 Maryland at 1 p.m. on Sunday.