Orange Depth on Full Display This Past Weekend
By Tara Arya
CitrusTV’s Field Hockey Beat Reporter
Syracuse’s defense was on full display this past weekend when they held their opponents to just one goal in all three games. The backline and goalkeeper Syd Taylor helped show this team can hang in there against anyone, even two-time reigning NCAA champion North Carolina.
Although the Orange lost to North Carolina on Friday, they nearly shut out the team with the most goals so far this season in the Athletic Coast Conference. Friday, the defense didn’t transfer into offense, but as the weekend progressed and they faced Wake Forest, they built on their defensive success.
The two games against Wake Forest showed the team’s grit. A tough weekend of road games, with the final contest going into overtime, Coach Ange Bradley was very impressed with her team. “To win in OT in a back-to-back series and third game in four days is an incredible display of our team’s resilience, grit and competitive desire,” Bradley said. “The depth within our squad was critical to our team’s success this weekend.”
The depth of this team has shown all season, with Freshman making plays on both sides of the field. Against Wake Forest, we saw two Freshmen perfectly time their first career goals. On Sunday, it was Carly Bothof that came off the bench and tipped one in, cementing the first win of the series. Then, on Monday, Eefke van den Nieuwenhof came in clutch in the final 30 seconds of regulation to score one and send the game into overtime where Bothof would have the pass to SJ Quigley in the 67th minute to win it all.
In the net, Taylor looked like a seasoned veteran, denying shot after shot and recording her career high in saves in the overtime win– seven saves in 65 minutes of play– and received ACC Defensive Player of the Week as a result.
On the offensive end, four different players scored against Wake Forest in this series, including Charlotte de Vries who recorded her second goal of the season after a slow start following her 15-goal campaign last year.
The biggest issue for the Orange right now is their inability to get their offense going early in games and they haven’t scored first in any of their games so far this season. The sense of urgency to score seems to come once the other team strikes first and that is when the offense starts to pick up. The trend has been come-from-behind wins, leaving us on our toes for much of the game.
Heading into next week, they’ll need to focus on getting on the board early and putting the pressure on their opponent to score, instead of the other way around. They are currently relying on their defense to keep them in the game and so far have done a good job in doing so, but need to pick up the pace offensively.
Looking forward, the Orange will have to keep their discipline on both sides of the field when they play an undefeated Louisville team next week. They will have this weekend to prepare for their final game of the regular season and their first one at home on October 30th at 2 p.m.
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