Orange field hockey remains unbeaten

SU field hockey continues its fine play this season as Big East play begins against Villanova.

Syracuse's field hockey team — ranked No. 2 in the nation — opened up Big East play on Friday with a less-than-dominant 5-2 victory over the Villanova Wildcats.

Sophomore Lauren Brooks and junior Leonie Geyer each scored two goals in the game, and the Orange (6-0) held a 4-0 lead at halftime over the Wildcats (4-3).

The reigning Big East champions last saw Villanova in the Big East semifinals, where the Orange handily beat the 'Cats 3-0 behind goals from three different players, including All-American Kelsey Millman.

Brooks opened the scoring in this contest just under 10 minutes, when she slapped one back into the goal after a bounce sent it out to her.

The Orange held possession for almost the entirety of the first half, save for a Villanova surge from about minute 26 until minute 29. Syracuse quickly regained composure and went up 2-0 after a long leading pass into the circle from All-American graduate student Liz McInerney gave junior Leonie Geyer her second goal of the season.

“That first one, I ran into the circle from the right and saw there was no other passing option, so I just ran in and deflected it in,” Geyer said.

The next four minutes would include two more goals, including Brook's second of the game—assisted by Emma Russell—and Millman's fourth of the year, which immediately followed McInerney's failed penalty corner shot.

The Orange dominated Villanova on the score sheet, especially in the first half. Overall, Syracuse took 32 shots, as compared to Villanova's six, and has 11 penalty corners, against 'Nova's three.

Starting Orange goalkeeper Leann Stiver stopped one shot and allowed one goal in 52 minutes while freshman replacement Jess Jecko matched her stats in 18 minutes.

Things got a little testy when junior Laura Hanhfeldt got a green card, which was shortly followed by Villanova coach Joanie Milhous receiving the triangular warning of her own, for arguing with the officials.  

The strong Orange first half was met by an average second half performance.

“We didn't do a good job of demonstrating how balanced of an offense we are today,” Orange head coach Ange Bradley said of the second half. “Our timing of our leading was off, our passing was very average, and we got isolated.”

“That's where we have to grow,” Bradley said of the team getting complacent with a lead at hand, as they did Friday afternoon.

The Orange take on Kent State at J.S. Coyne Stadium at 1 p.m. on Sunday.


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