Syracuse Falls Short in Their Season Opener to Virginia
By Tara Arya
CitrusTV Field Hockey Reporter
CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. – After months of anticipation, it finally happened, Syracuse got on the turf and played their first field hockey match of the season. After postponing their matchup against Duke and delaying their season’s start by two weeks, the Orange were more than ready to get out there and play.
Virginia had two games under their belt already, splitting their series against Wake Forest last weekend. This mage would be the eleventh meeting between Syracuse and Virginia, with UVA winning the previous four matchups.
In the first quarter, SYR got the gears moving against a UVA team that finished fifth in Division 1 last season in goals-against average (GAA). Offensively, things were quiet for Syracuse as they were outshot 4-1 by UVA after the first 15 minutes. Syd Taylor got the start in net and looked poised against an aggressive UVA offense.
The second quarter was a similar story. Both teams still scoreless until what appeared to be a Virginia goal. Officials would later wave off that goal, and the Orange would try to put some offensive pressure on at the end of the half but left the field still tied at zero. After 30 minutes, Syracuse was on par with Virginia. Both teams had two corners, SYR led four to three in saves, Virginia went for four shots on goal while SYR had three, and Virginia was one ahead with seven shots in total. Things seemed pretty evenly matched at the half.
Both teams went back and forth in the second half, trying to get one to go in, but it looked like the game could go into overtime. Then, with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter UVA’s Laura Janssen notched her first goal with an assist by Amber Ezechiels to put the game away late.
Syracuse held their own against a Virginia team that went deep into the postseason last year—showing that the Orange looked game-ready even after all that time off. This game did count towards the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, but the series’s second matchup will not.
The Orange look to get revenge on Sunday when they play Virginia again at Noon on ACCNetwork.
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