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SJ Quigley lined up 11 yards from Cornell’s goal in the third quarter for Syracuse’s seventh penalty corner of the game. At the top of the scoring circle, Quirine Comans kneeled near Charlotte de Vries in preparation to set up a clear shot toward the goal for de Vries.
Quigley fired, initiating the play. Comans corralled the ball in front of de Vries, who recoiled her stick and sent the game-winning shot flying toward the goal. The ball sailed past Cornell goalkeeper Aerin Park’s right foot and lodged itself in the back of the net for the first and final goal of the game.
No. 12 Syracuse (5-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) faced Cornell (2-3) in Ithaca just one day after jumping two spots from No. 14 in this week’s National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll. Defense shined, with both teams holding each other scoreless until the third quarter. Following seven penalty corner opportunities, Syracuse bypassed Cornell’s defense with a slapshot from de Vries to cement Syracuse’s 1-0 victory.
Cornell was in search of its first win after falling to UAlbany and No. 1 Michigan in its two previous games. The Orange, coming off of an upset road victory over No. 3 Boston College, were looking to notch another win in their five-game road trip.
Just over five minutes into the first quarter, Quigley lined up for Syracuse’s second penalty corner for the game. Comans took position to set up the shot for de Vries — a set-up that would mirror Syracuse’s game-winning shot in the third quarter. De Vries received the ball, stickhandled through three Cornell defenders within the scoring circle before firing a shot just wide of the net.
Minutes later, Comans received a pass from the midfield. She weaved through the left side of the scoring circle past several Cornell defenders to take a swinging slapshot. But Park, outstretched on the ground, blocked the attempt.
Syracuse maintained possession in the Cornell zone for the majority of the first quarter — firing two shots on goal and holding the Big Red to none. Despite keeping consistent pressure on Cornell, the Orange’s offense failed to crack Cornell’s defense throughout the first half.
Similar to the first half, de Vries generated several scoring opportunities, but none prevailed. Early in the second quarter, Syracuse carried the ball deep in the Cornell zone, and a whistle blew signaling a Cornell penalty. De Vries quickly scooped the ball and stickhandled it through the scoring circle. With three Big Red defenders blocking her, de Vries sent a pass flying left but lifted her head to see the ball rolling out of bounds and no teammate present to receive the pass.
Cornell regained possession and took the ball into the Syracuse zone. But, just like in the first quarter, Syracuse’s defense stole the ball and cleared the zone, effectively shutting down any attempt that neared the scoring circle.
But with less than four minutes remaining in the first half, Cornell gained possession off its first penalty corner of the game and set up its first clear scoring opportunity at the top of the circle. Caroline Ramsey stickhandled the ball near the top of the scoring circle and sent a hard slapshot toward Syracuse goalkeeper Brooke Borzymowski. The ball ricocheted off of Borzymowski’s pads back to Ramsey’s stick, but the Orange stole and cleared the zone moments later.
The Big Red closed out the first half with its closest scoring opportunity when Cornell’s Natalie Stone sent the ball flying toward the net. Borzymowski took a few steps forward before tripping and missing the save. Anticipating the slight error, Sienna Pegram laid on the grass outstretched on the left side of the goal. Pegram narrowly tipped Stone’s shot, saving the Orange from allowing a goal and sending the game into halftime tied at zero.
De Vries opened the second half with a long shot from the edge of the scoring circle. The shot flew through the Cornell zone, finding the tip of Pleun Lammers’ stick as she tapped the ball toward the net. The ball hit the left goalpost and rattled around the cage before rebounding back out toward de Vries.
Syracuse earned four consecutive penalty corners in the third quarter before capitalizing on its fifth attempt. As the Orange settled to run its penalty corner scheme, Cornell’s defenders lined up to defend Park, who made three of her four saves in the quarter while sprawled on the ground.
The Orange played keep away in the fourth quarter, penetrating the Cornell zone when needed but burning the clock and protecting their one-goal lead. Syracuse opened the final quarter by pressuring Cornell’s defense in the scoring circle, but SU failed to produce another goal-scoring opportunity.
Syracuse received two more penalty corners — marking nine for the Orange in the matchup — in the fourth quarter. Quigley set up the shot for Comans and de Vries, but Quigley hit the right post before knocking the ball out of bounds on the first attempt and sending the ball toward a sprawled Park on the second attempt.
As the clock ticked down, the Orange held steady possession, preventing Cornell from setting up any scoring opportunities. Syracuse sent the ball into the Cornell zone one final time before the game clock stopped and the Orange secured their fifth victory of the season.
The post Strong defensive performance carries No. 12 Syracuse to 1-0 win over Cornell appeared first on The Daily Orange.