Syracuse Field Hockey Walks-Off in Double-OT Against Lafayette for Third Straight Win

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 1:17 pm by Sports Editor

By Patrick Gunn

CitrusTV Field Hockey Reporter

As she saw her teammate race towards the ball with an open net, Charlotte de Vries knew that Laura Graziosi had ended her team’s long fought battle.

“I just saw her come in and I just knew,” Charlotte de Vries said. “I saw it in her face that she was going to make it because I saw her lift it and I was like ‘Yep, that’s in.’”

Graziosi’s second career game-winning goal – along with another strong game from de Vries – gave No. 18 Syracuse (3-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) its third consecutive one-goal win, this time a 3-2 victory in double-overtime over Lafayette (1-1, 0-0 Patriot League) in their home opener on Monday. As they have throughout the season, the Cardiac ‘Cuse has been grinding out victories by making adjustments and tightening up in the second half.

“Syracuse Hockey, we’re tough, we’re gritty, we fight until the end,” Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley said about her players. “We’ll experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. And we want that challenge and we want to compete and that’s what these women love to do.”

The Orange did not play like a ranked team in the first quarter. The Leopards quickly jumped out to a 2-0 first quarter lead. Caroline Turnbull pounded one into the net 3:47 into the game, while Audrey Sawers followed that up with a smash of her own. Sarah Sinck, after posting 11 saves yesterday against UMass Lowell, and her defense was sluggish at the start of the game.

“We weren’t passing stick to stick, our defensive structure was off,” de Vries said. “It wasn’t a good start to the game.”

After that quarter the Orange became a new team. Lafayette only had five more shots in the rest of the game, and none in the second half or overtime. That defense turned to offense, as Syracuse recorded 17 shots from the second quarter on, outshooting the Leopards 18-8. They credited it to getting on the same page.

“We got better structure,” Bradley said. “In the beginning it was a hot mess, and then, we were able to settle down and control the tempo a bit more.”

“We also started working better on the defense and that made it easier on the attack,” Graziosi said. “We intercepted more balls, so we can go forward, score more goals and that just helped the overall game.”

Defense certainly did turn into offense. Despite only scoring two more goals the rest of the game, they kept putting pressure on the Leopards, while keeping Lafayette away from the net. To put that into perspective, Sinck faced 11 shots on net yesterday against UMass Lowell. Today, she only faced five.

De Vries got the Orange moving in the right direction with the first goal of the game. With just over three minutes to play in the second half, Lafayette goalkeeper Sarah Park made the save on Sarah Quigley’s penalty corner shot. However, de Vries grabbed the rebound and slammed it in the back of the net. It was her shot that relaxed the team.

“We have a lot of youth and once we got ourselves settled, we were able to come back and fight the way we’re capable of competing,” Bradley said about the goal.

Despite being a freshman, de Vries has looked anything but unsettled on the field. Her goal was her fourth goal in her first three career games. Two of her goals have been game-winners, and she even assisted the game tying goal. Coach Bradley described her as having a scorer’s mindset, while de Vries attributed her ability to being able to clear her out her head.

“Field hockey’s the one thing in my life that I don’t really get nervous about,” de Vries said. “It’s kind like a place for me to be free. So, I don’t really think too much when I’m on the field.”

Today, thanks to great second half adjustments, de Vries had no reason to be nervous about the result of the game.

After playing three games in four days, the Orange gets a few days to rest up. They travel to Cornell on Saturday. Game starts at noon. | @patgunner_