Syracuse Capitalizes on Penalty Corners vs. Bucknell
By Sam Rothman
CitrusTV Field Hockey Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Coming into Sunday’s matchup against Bucknell (4-3, 1-0 Patriot) Syracuse (4-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) scored only three times on 23 penalty corners on the year. However, on Sunday, SU converted on the penalty corner three times in just one game. The Orange used that to their advantage en route to shutting out the Bison 3-0, ending Syracuse’s three-game losing streak.
In the past two games, the Orange were shutout. On Friday against Duke, Syracuse failed to even record a single shot on goal nor an opportunity from the penalty corner.
“We’ve been through battle,” said Head Coach Ange Bradley. “We just played No. 1 Connecticut and No. 4 Duke. They’re high speed games and its athlete on athlete. When you go against Bucknell who is a very good, tough team, it neutralizes a little bit the speed of play.”
The struggles of not getting shots off on Friday were not replicated on Sunday. Within the first five minutes, Syracuse already had two shots on goal.
Within the first ten minutes, SU scored its first goal in three games.
After Caroline Hoffman inserted the ball into the circle from the penalty corner, Tess Queen quickly sent it over to Roos Weers. Weers passed it to Chiara Gutsche who put the ball right past Bucknell goalie Olivia Harris. The sophomore now leads the team in scoring with four goals.
“Honestly, I just went after the corner,” said Gutsche. “Once we got it, I just knew that I was going to score. I just had the particular feeling. Roos gave me the ball and I just threw it in.”
However, Syracuse wasn’t done on the corner. After grabbing the assist on Gutsche’s goal in the first half, Weers tallied her own goal on the penalty corner 15 minutes into the second. Hoffman inserted the ball to Claire Webb, and the junior fed the ball to Weers. The senior wasted no time, immediately firing a shot into the goal for the 2-0 advantage.
After failing to score in its last two matchups, Syracuse converted twice in just 50 minutes of play.
“I’m proud of the way we came out today,” said Weers. And I’m proud of the way we recovered from Friday.”
Eight minutes later, another penalty corner turned into another goal for the Orange. On this opportunity, the freshmen rose to the challenge. This time, SJ Quigley was called for the insertion, and the midfielder sent the ball to her fellow first-year Laura Graziosi. Graziosi shot the ball towards the net, and freshman Peyton Kemp finished the youthful movement with a delection into the cage for the first goal of her collegiate career.
“I was happy for her,” said Bradley. “It’s nice to see. It breaks that bubble for someone. She just has a nose for scoring and was in the right place.”
However, Syracuse not only scored on the corner. The Orange also stopped each of the Bison’s four penalty corner chances in the matchup. Syracuse took advantage on both sides of the field to bounce back from its tough loss against Duke.
“After getting bamboozled on Friday, these kids have pride and fight,” said Bradley. “They’re freshmen and sophomores. They just keep learning each day.”
Syracuse looks to build off of the victory as it hosts Pacific at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
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