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Sunday, Oct 01, 2017 at 7:25 pm

SU Field Hockey Defeats Princeton 1-0 at Home

By Jonah Karp

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse field hockey team entered Sunday’s contest against the No. 16 Princeton Tigers having lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2014.

“We just decided to up the energy,” graduate forward Elaine Carey said of her team’s attitude entering Sunday’s matchup. “Sometimes when we need to…be composed when we need to. That was, sort of, our main focus. We were still playing well, we were just losing in overtime. Stuff like that is frustrating, but you just have to keep belief and confidence.”

The No. 7 Orange entered the contest 8-3, having dropped three of its last four, while the Tigers were 5-4 so far on the season.

From the get go, a defensive chess match began. The back-and-forth, see-saw-like offense led to two saves in the first half, both credited to Syracuse goalkeeper Borg van der Velde.

The lone offensive score came 12 minutes into the first half. After Syracuse was rewarded a penalty corner shot, Roos Weers found Erin Gillingham waiting near the right side of the cage to break the ice.

“It’s called R-2,” Gillingham explained. “I just ran the R-2 line and Roos passed it to me.”

Gillingham’s goal was her first of the season, to give Syracuse a 1-0 advantage midway through the first.

“It feels great,” Gillingham said about her first score of the year. “I wish we could all get more, but it was good to get the first goal.”

Both teams pitched shutouts the rest of the game, and SU held the Tigers to just one shot on goal in the second half. Syracuse outshot Princeton 8-to-4 in total.

The victory was the ninth of the year for Syracuse, with each win coming in shutout fashion. The Orange is just two shy of tying the single season shutout record in program history.

“We all stepped up which was really nice,” Gillingham said, assessing the play of the defense. ”It probably could have been a little less chaotic, but it was good. We did our job well, so we can move on from that.”

Elaine Carey also agreed that the defense stepped up in the win.

“Our defense played awesome today,” she said. “Princeton has really good attackers, really feisty, they really lay it out. We knew that from watching their previous games. So, they really upped the energy and we were all over them, and so I really think we played great today.”

Syracuse heads back on the road next Saturday to take on the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina at noon. The Orange enter the game just 1-3 in conference play this season.