Orange win Big East title

On senior day, Orange field hockey kept their home winning streak alive with strong performances by their seniors.

In their biggest game of the year, the No. 3 Syracuse Orange field hockey team came out swinging.

On senior day, the last game of the regular season, the Orange defeated rival No. 4 Uconn 3-2 in a battle for the regular season Big East crown.

Honorees Liz McInerney and Kelsey Millman each scored as the Orange toughed out another tight match with the Huskies, who have proven to be their toughest Big East opponent over the last four years.

“Every time we play this team it's a battle,” senior goalkeeper Leann Stiver said. “The fact that we're still undefeated at Coyne is amazing.”

The 36-game home winning streak is something the Orange hope to continue, should the NCAA give them a chance to play at home in the tournament.

“This is kind of why I play hockey,” McInerney said of the match up with UConn for the Big East title. “And I'm not going to lie, that goal felt great.”

McInerney scored the first goal of the game off a rebound shot from senior Iona Holloway that bounced off the post. The Huskies tied up the game just four minutes into the second half.

The next goal was a beautiful pass from freshman Gillian Pinder to senior captain Kelsey Millman, who dove to make the shot.

“Gill had been breaking out of the midfield with great speed all game,” Millman said. “When she broke her defender I knew she was going right to goal, so I just laid out and hit it into the goal.”

With eight minutes left in the game, it seemed the Orange had put the Huskies away for good with a goal off a penalty corner scored by Jordan Page, but the Huskies scored with less than five minutes left on a penalty corner of their own, bringing the score back to within one.

Great defensive work from Iona Holloway, juniors Laura Hahnefeldt and Anna Crumb made the game tough for the Huskies, and they did not allow the Huskies to even up the score in the waning moments of the game.

The story of the game was the emotion behind the team as they finished their regular season, and a hearty turn out in the stands made the win all the sweeter for the Orange as they head into the Big East tournament next week.

“You work hard, and you get rewarded with something like this, it's kind of the American Dream,” Coach Ange Bradley said. “I'm so proud of these girls. I'm glad we could send these seniors out with a win.”

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