Field Hockey Beats Pacific 3-0 in Season Finale
The 2017 regular season finally came to a close Saturday afternoon for the No. 12 Syracuse field hockey team, with Pacific in town for the final contest. Senior Day was the big attraction during the pregame ceremonies, and the emotions were running high.
“Of course it’s a little emotional because it could be our last game on Coyne,” Lies Lagerweij said with her parents watching. “We’ve been here for four years and it’s coming to an end. It’s a little bit emotional with all of the families being here, but it’s also really exciting.”
Head coach Ange Bradley also weighed in on her experience coaching the seniors.
“When the final page and chapter closes, that’s when I spend time reflecting,” Bradley said. “Right now we’re a team and we’ve got to keep working. We’ve got to keep working as a team to keep their careers alive as much as we can. If the focus goes on them, you’re focused in on the end, and there’s still a hash to be created.”
The six seniors make up a graduating class to have gone to the NCAA tournament each of the last four years, the only current group of seniors in field hockey to have done so. And this day was nothing short of records and milestones. However, it happened to be the neophytes that got it done.
Chiara Gutsche got the scoring going for the Orange midway through the first half, hitting the back of the net on a penalty corner. That goal was the second of the season for Gutsche, but the freshman said that all the new players getting involved is a testament to the guidance of those who are leaving.
“I don’t think it’s about topping them off,” she said. “I think it’s about giving to them when they have given so much to us this year.”
Heading into the locker room, the Orange held a 1-0 lead at the break. Roos Weers got the scoring going in the second half, extending the SU lead 2-0 over Pacific. But the freshman show continued with Audrey Matthew notching her first score of the year to solidify the 3-0 victory for Syracuse.
Freshmen Borg Van der Velde tallied her eleventh shutout of the season, tying the program single season record.
“It was really good,” Van der Velde said. “It’s always good to get a shutout. The defense was really good.”
The record was previously held by the 1993 team. Syracuse finished the regular season with a record of 12-5. The team now looks ahead to the ACC tournament.
Ange Bradley explained that she is already mentally prepared.
“Well I’m a coach, so I’m about two weeks ahead,” Bradley said smiling. “So, I’ve been preparing for a while, and the kids, they’ll start that tomorrow.”
The quarterfinals are down in Louisville for a matchup against the Cardinals on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.