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Sunday, Oct 27, 2019 at 6:07 pm

Syracuse Rallies Behind its Seniors against Cornell

By Patrick Gunn

CitrusTV Field Hockey Beat Reporter

Senior Stephanie Harris had a lot of smile about in Syracuse’s contest against Cornell on Senior Day. The midfielder got her third start of the season and made the most of the opportunity.

Harris looked to get involved early. On the Orange’s third penalty corner of the game, Midfielder SJ Quigley made the insertion to Tess Queen. Carolin Hoffmann then faked the shot and passed it to Harris instead. From there, Harris just hoped that she would not “top it.” Luckily, Harris’s shot was a laser.

“It’s my first goal ever,” Harris said about the play. “So, I was really excited. Best day of my life, honestly.”

Her first career goal was one of two goals from Syracuse seniors. Sarah Luby, a junior graduating early, netted the go-ahead goal in overtime, giving No. 15 Syracuse (11-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) a 3-1 win over Cornell (9-6, 3-2 Ivy League).

Senior back Claire Webb anchored the SU defense once again, helping this young Syracuse Field Hockey team grow.

Their growth was apparent from their first game against Cornell. Syracuse lost to the Big Red 2-1 in Ithaca in early September, despite outshooting Cornell 17 to 10. That was also the last game that Syracuse played without Webb, who missed the first four games of the season with a hand injury. Webb mentioned that their loss was not a major point in their preparation for this game, but rather focused on continuing to improve.

“It’s really important just to take it game by game,” Webb said. “I mean, you’re playing now and if you win after the next game you have one more and we just have to keep that in mind. But, like Ange said, we’ve done a lot of growing over the season and we still have more potential to grow which is really exciting.”

Syracuse once again outshot Cornell, this time by an even wider margin of 19 to four. However, the Orange was much crisper passing the ball this time around, particularly at the start of the game. Their stronger passing led to more scoring chances and 11 penalty corners, eight coming in the first half.

The Orange’s midfield passing game lessened in the second half, only tallied eight shots. Playing a complete game is something that head coach Ange Bradley would like to see her team improve upon going forward.

“It’s just connection and timing, and I think for me I was disappointed that that was off today,” Bradley said. “The other night, it was on, and it’s just learning to play with the people around you. When you play a passing game the way we play, you gotta know how people move, you gotta know how they breathe, you gotta know everything about ‘em, when they’re looking to pass, when they’re looking to dribble. And that takes time, especially when you have a lot of freshmen in there.”

Despite the win, the team still has room to grow before postseason play, but SU’s leadership can get them to that point. Webb and Harris have been major voices in stabilizing the team’s midfield, and both feel privileged to get to be a part of the Syracuse Field Hockey family.

“Coyne is such a special place to me,” Webb said. “It represents the current team, it represents all the women who come before us, all the women who come after us. It’s kind of a staple in our culture. We always work to protect it. We work so hard on that day-in, day-out, and when game time comes around, we just have such a need to protect it. I think that’s something that’s been passed down from generations in the past and that we hope to pass down to generations in the future, so it’s a really special place.”

“We spend all of our time on that field,” Harris said. “That’s where we love to be, that’s where we love to play field hockey. So, it’s a really special place.”

Webb, Harris, and Luby have one more regular-season game, meaning one more learning experience before the ACC tournament on Saturday. Syracuse travels down to face a top-ten Louisville team.

pagunn@syr.edu | patgunner_