Field hockey: Russell's heroics carry Orange past Duke

The junior's fourth game-winning goal of 2014 lifts SU to second-straight overtime win over the Blue Devils.

Duke and Syracuse may no longer have just a basketball rivalry. 

For the second straight season, the No. 10 Orange (11-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) took its fellow Atlantic Coast Conference foe to overtime. Once there, Emma Russell scored only 1:04 into the extra session to power SU to a dramatic 2-1 victory over the No. 6 Blue Devils at J.S. Coyne Stadium. The win was the Orange’s fifth in its last six games. 

“We just keep pushing,” SU head coach Ange Bradley said. “They found a way, and that is the sign of a good team. It's where you finish, and I hope we can stay healthy and keep growing from here." 

After giving up a goal 35 seconds into the contest on a ball that was flipped over the heads of the SU midfield and chipped past goalkeeper Jess Jecko, the Orange quickly found itself facing an uphill battle. 

But following an abundance of failed scoring opportunities, freshman Laura Hurff scored the equalizer in the 56th minute thanks to some nifty stick skills. 

Carrying the ball down the left sideline, Hurff veered towards the goal and executed a tricky spin move to beat her defender. She then launched a rocket past the right side of Duke goalkeeper Lauren Blazing and into the back of the box. 

“We never doubted ourselves. We knew we could score,” Hurff said. “It was just about finishing, so once we finally did, we just knew that we could do it again, and it gave us even more of a boost in our game.” 

The Orange rode that jolt to the extra session and then pounced on the Blue Devils (11-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast). Russell got her own rebound off a blocked shot and then struck a ball that scooted by Blazing to seal the comeback. It was Russell’s third overtime winner this year. 

“I think making the opportunities is a huge plus,” Russell said, “and maybe today it didn't come as fast as we wanted it to, but we found a way to finish it off and that’s what you need going into postseason.” 

Following its early hiccup, SU went on to play a nearly flawless game. The Orange outshot the Blue Devils, 22-4, and held a 5-0 advantage in corners. 

Just as impressive was a stout defense anchored by freshman Lies Lagerweij

In her return from a torn posterior cruciate ligament, Lagerweij played center-back for the first time and performed beautifully through the full 70 minutes of regulation time. For Lagerweij, who previously only played at forward, the change was a way of thanking her teammates for their support as she healed during the last eight weeks. 

“My team helped me so much during my rehab,” she said, “and has been there for me through everything, so I said, ‘If this is what I can do back, then I’ll just play defense.’” 

With the win, the Orange has clinched the sixth seed in the ACC tournament.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.