Syracuse Falls Short of Final Four for Third Straight Season in 2-1 Loss to Duke
By Max Gifford | @GiffMD
All good things must come to an end, and for Head Coach Lynn Farquhar in her first season at the helm of No. 11 Syracuse field hockey, her journey with her new squad came to a conclusion this afternoon after the Orange fell 2-1 to No. 3 Duke.
Coming into this contest, SU had already faced DU once this season, also in Durham, and was shutout 4-0 in its ACC opener. This go around, the ‘Cuse came out hungry against the ACC’s best defense as Pieke van de Pas ripped a scorcher from the top of the shooting circle for her 11th score of the season to put Syracuse up 1-0. That would be its only shot on goal all afternoon.
Goalkeeper Abby Neitch held her ground through nearly the first half hour of play with two saves on five Duke shots in the first quarter. In the second frame, the Blue Devils mustered two more shots on goal, but in the waning moments of the half, the Orange’s Myrthe van Bolhuis was assessed a green card and after a review, the contact by van Bolhuis was deemed too violent and gave the ACC Co-Offensive Player of the Year in Alaina McVeigh a penalty stroke which she snuck passed a diving Abby Neitch.
Right out of the halftime huddle, the momentum of that 29th-minute score carried over for the Dukies, and Hannah Miller tipped in the go-ahead goal just 40 seconds into the second half. It was her eighth of the season. McVeigh would have a chance to put the game away with a breakaway, but Neitch made a quick save on the one-on-one.
The back-and-forth play continued throughout the second half with limited opportunities on both ends. Syracuse had three penalty corner chances, but couldn’t convert on any of them. In the fourth quarter, Duke’s defense locked it down as the Orange couldn’t get passed the Blue Devil backline and even after pulling their Abby Neitch in the late stages, SU never pulled through and its 2023 season came to an end.
Duke advanced to their seventh Final Four in program history and the first since 2015 and will compete in the NCAA Semifinals at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill this Friday. Syracuse concludes the season under first-year head coach Lynn Farquhar 11-8 overall.