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Friday, Sep 21, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Syracuse fights back against Pacific for overtime win

By Sam Rothman

CitrusTV Field Hockey Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With just under 15 minutes left in regulation, Syracuse (5-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) looked as though they were going to suffer their fourth loss in five games. With her team struggling and on the verge of another defeaet, Head Coach Ange Bradley decided to call a timeout.

When the Orange returned to the turf, they were a completely different team. SU scored two goals within a ten-minute span to tie the game at two and send this match into overtime.

Three minutes into the extra period, Syracuse grabbed the game-winning goal thanks to Roos Weers to steal a 3-2 victory against Pacific (6-4, 0-0 West Coast).

In a matter of 20 minutes, Syracuse went from another fruitless loss to a potential season-changing win.

“We’re very young and we get excited,” Weers said. “I think the first half we were very sloppy in every aspect of the field. I’m proud of the way we came out in the second half. We had the majority of the possession. I think we fought.”

In Syracuse’s last matchup against Bucknell, the penalty corner was the strength, scoring three goals and not allowing any scores on four attempts for the Bison.

However, in the first half on Friday, the corner became the Orange’s weakness. Syracuse allowed two goals on the corner and failed to convert on all five of their opportunities in the first half.

“There were a lot of skill errors,” said Bradley. “It’s such a precision play that if one thing is off, the next thing has to move and then the next thing has to move. Our inserts were off and then when we did get it on, our stick stop was off. It was just bad connection.”

Pacific found no trouble finding that connection early on in J.S. Coyne Stadium. The Tigers wasted no time to get on the board and capitalized on its first corner of the game. Kriekie van Wyk solved Borg van der Velde for the early 1-0 lead just five minutes into the matchup. Then with just under a minute left in the half, the senior found the back of the net once more on the corner.

Just one week after having a career-high eleven saves, the sophomore goalie had let in two penalty corner goals in under 35 minutes.

Sophomore Emma Likly replaced van der Velde in goal to start the second half for her first appearance this season.

“I was excited to get in, excited to have the opportunity to play,” said Likly. “Do what I need to do for the team to get it done.”

Behind Likly’s strong play in goal, Syracuse was able to bounce back. After six failed corner attempts, the Orange found the back of the net on opportunity number seven.

Caroline Hoffman inserted the ball to Tess Queen who stopped the ball for Weers. The senior fired a shot past Pacific goalkeeper Marlise van Tonder to cut the Tigers’ lead in half.

With under four minutes left in regulation, Syracuse found the equalizer. Weers fed a pass to the stick of Chiara Gutsche and the sophomore deflected the ball into the goal. All of a sudden, it was a tie game.

Syracuse, led by their veteran leader in Weers, carried this momentum into overtime. The senior rifled a shot off of Hoffman’s insert for the game-winning goal. Weers jumped into the air as her teammates ran down the field to celebrate.

Weers left her mark on all three goals, finishing the day with two goals and one assist.

“Aggression, desire, passion, and heart was missing the first half,” said Bradley. “[Pacific] had two shots and two goals. Completely unacceptable. We found a way in the second half, and I’m proud of them.”

Syracuse returns to action Sunday as they host the University of Pennsylvania at 1 p.m.

@samrothman_ | sbrothma@syr.edu