Field Hockey blank Bucknell in its home opener

Five different scorers got on board for the team.

In its home debut, the 5th ranked Syracuse Orange extended its shutout streak to four with a commanding five-nil victory over Bucknell. The Orange outshot the Bison 18 to zero and didn’t surrender a single corner in the game.

In control from start to finish, head coach Ange Bradley is encouraged by the early form of her team.

“I’m enjoying the process of the connections and the passing and the five different people scoring.” Bradley said.

Passing, Pace, and Possession

The Orange spent the majority of the game with the ball due to their superior passing and the steady presence of backers, Lies Lagerweij and Roos Weers.

“Our defense starts our attack,” Bradley said. “They have a really big job to reshape [the attack] and create angles when we move the ball.”

Creating a lightning pace in the midfield, Laura Hurff and her fellow midfielders pushed the ball up the field and created chances early and often.

“It was good for the midfield to step up today,” Hurff said. “We did well in finding the simple passes and didn’t try to force anything.”

Syracuse’s pace led to two first half goals, one by forward Jennifer Bleakney in the 11th minute and another by forward Caroline Cady right before the half.

The Orange maintained their breakneck tempo in the second half staking claim over the Bucknell scoring circle. Hurff played in a beautiful pass to Carolin Hoffmann for the third goal of the game and then scored a goal of her own in the 60th minute.

“Honestly I was looking for a back post pass,” Hurff said. “But [the goalie] left the corner wide open and I was able to put it right on the corner.”

Emma Tufts scored the final goal of the afternoon after burying a quick pass from Chira Gutsche in the 63rd minute.

Fabulous Freshman

The undefeated Orange have rotated in nine freshman so far this season. One of them, Hoffman, has scored four times, which includes a hat-trick against Pacific. Coming from Germany, Hoffmann said the European style of play prepared her to hit the ground running in division one field hockey.

“The speed is similar in Germany, so that hasn’t been a really big change for me,” Hoffmann said. “The games are more physical in the U.S. that has been a big difference.”

Goal-scorer Bleakney is a freshman, as well as Gutsche who had an assist. Goalkeeper Borg van der Velde took a grey-shirt year last season and begins her freshman campaign with four shutouts. Not only are the freshman playing, but they are major contributors.

“The freshman are amazing, this is the best freshman class I’ve been able to work with.” Hurff said.

Bradley also had nothing but praise for the new Orange women.

“They’re a great group,” Bradley said. “Their energy, willingness to follow, and step up and lead has been really great.”

 The Orange complete its two game homestand on Sunday against the 1-2 Ohio Bobcats. Syracuse has won their last two matchups against the visitors.

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