Syracuse Suffers First Loss of the Season to Virginia
By Sam Rothman
Field Hockey Beat Reporter
After starting the year with three straight wins, Syracuse (3-1, 0-1 ACC) suffered its first loss of the season Friday as it opened up ACC play against No. 8 Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC). When the Orange and Cavaliers faced off at J.S. Coyne Stadium one year ago, neither team could score in the first half. When the second half got going, so did the Orange offense, and SU was able to strike first. Then Virginia fought its way back, scoring the next two goals and securing the victory. On Friday, the two teams met again, but this time on the Cavaliers’ home turf. The location may have changed, but for SU, it felt like déjà vu. Syracuse got on the board first, but, once again, Virginia grabbed the next two goals. On Friday, the Cavaliers scored the game-winning goal in double overtime for the 2-1 win.
The first half was a defensive battle between both teams. Virginia recorded the first shot on goal ten minutes into the first half. But, Borg van der Velde’s kick save stopped Jacquelyn Wilkins’ attempt to give UVA the lead. Van der Velde’s teammates started to gain some momentum from her strong play in goal. The Orange dominated possession and was awarded with the first penalty corner of the game. Off the corner, Roos Weers was stopped by UVA goalie Carrera Lucas. But, the senior recovered the rebound for a second-chance opportunity, which she launched over the cage.
With 15:51 left in the first half, the game was suspended due to severe thunderstorms in the Charlottesville area. As the game got back underway 45 minutes later, it was the Cavaliers who carried the momentum. On Virginia’s second penalty corner of the game, the ball went into the back of the goal, but Syracuse took a sigh of relief as the goal was ultimately waived off.
After surviving UVA’s push late in the half, Syracuse came close to taking the lead with just seconds remaining in the first. Carolin Hoffman was all alone in the circle, but her shot went wide just as time expired.
Syracuse came out strong in the second half. Chiara Gutsche, Syracuse’s leading scorer, recorded two straight shots on goal, but Lucas responded with two straight saves. The Orange then had another two opportunities on the penalty corner, but SU couldn’t take advantage.
For Syracuse, the third time was the charm. Freshman Laura Graziosi scored her second goal of the season as fellow freshman Tess Queen set her up at 62:49 for the 1-0 advantage.
Just as fast as the Orange got the advantage on the scoreboard, the Cavaliers would come back. 44 seconds after Syracuse scored, Virginia answered as Makayla Gallen solved van der Velde for the equalizer.
Both teams fired away in the second half. Syracuse recorded eight shots on goal, while van der Velde faced seven attempts from the Cavaliers. However, neither team was able to convert. For the second-straight game, Syracuse entered overtime tied at one.
Syracuse came away with the 2-1 overtime win against Stanford on Saturday, scoring just five minutes into the first overtime period. SU wouldn’t find the same luck against UVA, with the only opportunity coming on a harmless penalty corner.
For the first time this season, Syracuse was tested with double overtime.
At 82:45, UVA’s Grace Wallis fed the ball to Greer Gill on an odd-man rush. Van der Velde came out of the goal to challenge the freshman, but Gill fired the ball into the empty net as SU dropped its first game of the season.
The Orange’s schedule only gets tougher from here. Syracuse is back in action on Sunday to host the defending national champion and currently top ranked Connecticut Huskies at J.S. Coyne Stadium.
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