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Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 6:07 pm

No. 1 UConn shuts out Syracuse 3-0

By Sam Rothman

CitrusTV Field Hockey Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) suffered its first loss on home turf Sunday afternoon as No. 1 Connecticut (6-0, 0-0 Big East) shutout the Orange 3-0. After recording just one shot in the first half, SU came out with the momentum in the second, but ultimately fell well short.

“I think we were ready to play in the second half,” senior Roos Weers said. “You have little time on the clock and you want to push as hard as you can, so that’s what we did. One shot in the first half is not good enough if you play against the number one team in the country.”

Despite outshooting the Huskies five to three in the second half, the Orange failed to find the back of the goal, while UConn converted twice.

“I do think we deserve more than 3-0, but that’s on ourselves,” Weers said. “We had two corners and zero goals. They had four corners and two goals. If we don’t score, we don’t deserve anything.”

The first half was a defensive battle between both teams. Syracuse limited the defending champions to just three shots on goal in the half, but the Huskies took advantage of their first penalty corner, just 14 minutes into the game. Syracuse blocked the initial shot by UConn’s Abby Gooderham, but Jessica Dombrowski recovered the rebound and put the ball past Borg van der Velde for the 1-0 lead.

Syracuse’s lone chance of the first half came from Carolin Hoffman with just five minutes left in the half. But, Connecticut goalie Cheyenne Sprecher held steady and prevented SU from netting the equalizer.

SU came out as a different team in the second. The Orange spent the majority of the half on the attack, but they weren’t able to capitalize on any of their chances.

“We got into the circle,” sophomore forward Chiara Gutsche said. “We just need to work on finishing.”

SU held UConn to just three shots on goal in the second half. But, the Huskies proved why they’re the reigning champions, making Syracuse pay on two of those opportunities.

Despite the lopsided score, both teams finished the game with six shots on goal. The difference was that when UConn, who hasn’t lost a game since 2016, had the opportunity to score, they took advantage.

“I thought it was a game that was closer than the score indicated,” SU head coach Ange Bradley said.

Syracuse returns to ACC play on Friday as it hosts No. 3 Duke at 4 p.m.

sbrothma@syr.edu | @samrothman_