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Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Syracuse Field Hockey Unable to Come Back Against Cornell

By Patrick Gunn

CitrusTV Field Hockey Beat Reporter

ITHACA, N.Y. – Syracuse Field Hockey once again lived up to the Cardiac ‘Cuse nickname, trailing 2-0 at the end of the first half. And, once again, the Orange made adjustments in the second half and dominated the stat sheet.

This time, however, that type of play did not lead to a victory.

After three wins of bending-without-breaking, No. 18 Syracuse (3-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) could not rally back. A Cornell (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) team that finished 5-12 last season started fast, stepped up in major moments, and hung on to a 2-1 win.

Those opportunities came off of two penalty corners. Claire Jones scored on a perfectly executed penalty corner just under five minutes into the first quarter, while Caroline Ramsey tipped a ball off a short pass following a penalty corner four minutes into the second. Those scores led Bradley to pull Sarah Sinck out of net in favor of Syd Taylor. Then, Syracuse started to make changes, but not enough adjustments to continue their winning streak.

“We just made some structural changes and once that happened, we dominated in every statistic there was except the most important one, goals on the board,” Head Coach Ange Bradley said about the loss. “They came off the adjustments and they did a good job of making those adjustments. We just finished on the short end today and congrats to Cornell.”

Indeed, the Orange did pad their stat sheet after a slow start. Syracuse outshot Cornell 11 to one in the second half, while having seven penalty corner opportunities. This came from being much more aggressive towards the ball on the defensive end and creating more lanes for players to shoot.

Yet, all of those chances led to only one goal. Charlotte de Vries scored her fifth goal of the year on a rebound from a penalty corner in the fourth quarter. And even she struggled to find the net, with that goal being the only one of her seven shots to even go on net. This was thanks to a fantastic performance from the Big Red defense. Maddie Henry made five saves in net and had plenty of help from her defense.

“They had good structure, they competed hard and they took advantage of their opportunities,” Bradley said about Cornell’s effort. “They played a good game, they played us tough. They capitalized on two early opportunities.”

Despite the loss, the Orange were proud of their grit.

“This is a learning opportunity,” Senior Back Claire Webb, who has yet to play in a game due to injuries, said. “It was a negative experience, but we can take positives out of it. We can learn a lot, we can grow, it happened early in the season, which can serve as a turning point. I think our team is very resilient so we can take what we can from this game and build for the next ones.”

Indeed, this is a very young team. Webb and midfielder Stephanie Harris are the only seniors on a team with eight freshmen and six sophomores making major contributions.

“We have to reflect on why we keep starting slow,” Webb said. “But for everybody it’s pretty personal what do you have to do to prepare yourself to come out and get on top first.”

The Orange have a few days to prepare themselves for their next game, which comes on Friday at 6:00 p.m. against St. Josephs’ back at JS Coyne Stadium.

pagunn@syr.edu | patgunner_