Syracuse Facing Offensive Struggles as of Recent
by Ben Spector
CitrusTV’s Field Hockey Beat Reporter
The past two games have been an offensive struggle for the No. 8 Syracuse Field Hockey team. After winning its first four games of the spring season and scoring a combined 12 goals in those contests, SU has only scored one goal in its last two games and lost both in overtime. The offensive struggles are glaring, and with two games left in the season, the Orange have to fix things quickly.
In the fall, scoring and overtime were not big issues for Syracuse. While the Orange were shut out twice in their first four games of the fall season and lost in overtime in the second matchup against Virginia, Syracuse was 2-1 in overtime games and scored 18 goals in 9 games (including the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament). They were fine putting the ball in the back of the net.
To say scoring has been a glaring issue in the spring would be false. In fact, the average goals per game is greater in the spring than in the fall. In the spring, SU has scored 13 goals in 6 games, averaging out to 2.2 goals per game. In the fall, the Orange averaged 2 goals per game.
So what’s been the root of the problem the last two games? There are many things to point at, but it’s mainly the level of competition Syracuse has played.
The Orange lost to No. 3 Louisville and No. 13 Boston College the last two games. Those two teams are two of the best defensive teams in the country. Louisville, Boston College, and even Syracuse tie for second in the nation in total defensive saves. This leads to low-scoring games and a lack of goals, exactly what happened. Louisville only beat Syracuse 1-0 and Boston College defeated SU 2-1.
Additionally, the Orange rank 22nd in penalty corners per game. More penalty corners lead to more opportunities, something that Syracuse needs.
Something that has been inconsistent for Syracuse the last two games is the amount of shots. Against Louisville, Syracuse only registered two shots. However, against Boston College, the Orange shot the ball a season-high 38 times. Still, though, only one goal scored.
In order for Syracuse to get back on the offensive track it was on in the first four games of the year, SU needs to continue to shoot the ball and get more penalty corners. Were the matchups against stellar defensive teams? Absolutely. However, more opportunities lead to more of a likely chance for the ball to go in.
With two games left against ACC opponents, forwards like Pleun Lammers and Chiara Gutsche, players who dominated the first four games, need to be able to put the ball in the back of the net.
The next opportunity for Syracuse’s offense to get back on track is this Friday against Virginia. The game is set to start at 4 p.m.