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Virginia striker Laura Janssen established herself deep in the inner circle before receiving a pass. Eefke Van Den Nieuwenhof fouled her as she turned toward Syracuse’s goal with just 1:33 left in the game. In preparation for Virginia’s penalty corner, the Orange put on field hockey masks, and Virginia freshman Anneloes Knol began the play with a pass to midfielder Greer Gill.
Once Gill settled the ball, first team All-American Rachel Robinson fired a shot that sailed wide-right of the goal. As Syracuse goalie Syd Taylor dived, Janssen deflected the shot into a wide open Syracuse goal, giving UVA the late lead.
After missed opportunities from both teams, Virginia (2-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) scored a late winner to beat Syracuse (0-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) in Charlottesville. The Orange’s first two games against Duke were postponed after players came in contact with an unaffiliated individual who tested positive for COVID-19. SU recorded five shots on goal and 12 total shots during its first game of the season on Friday, as well as five corners.
With under five minutes left, the Orange had an advantage with Virginia’s Amber Ezechiels sidelined for two minutes. Then, without her, UVA head coach Michele Madison was given a green card as well.
Syracuse went on the attack with an extra player on the field. Sophomore Charlotte de Vries passed the ball across the field to senior Claire Cooke, who was running toward UVA’s inner circle. Once she came close to the circle, she passed to freshman forward Carly Bothof.
After shaking off a defender with a spin move – something she found successful all game long – Bothof took a shot toward the goal. Though the shot was blocked, a penalty was called on Virginia, giving the Orange an opportunity to take a late lead.
But Robinson blocked a shot that was close to her wrist. Even if the shot had gone in, it would have been deemed ‘dangerous’ and wouldn’t have counted.
Three true freshmen, Van Den Nieuwenhof, Sienna Pegram and Florine Van Boetzelaer, started alongside Bothof in their Syracuse debuts. Redshirt freshman Pleun Lammers also debuted.
Lammers, who took the corners for Syracuse, consistently passed in clean balls, but Virginia’s defense rarely allowed an opening, as it applied pressure inside the inner circle.
Bothof was the most aggressive player for Syracuse, as she frequently beat defenders. On three separate occasions, she spun away from multiple defenders and generated offensive opportunities. But time and time again, Bothof lost possession in the inner circle.
After leading the team in goals as a freshman last season, de Vries struggled to gain possession inside or near the inner circle, finishing with just two shots, neither of them on goal.
In her first year as the starter, goalkeeper Syd Taylor had four saves, including a sliding one with 9:35 left in the fourth quarter. With no defenders around, Taylor moved to the right of the goal and used the sideline to her advantage to block the shot’s path. While keeping the ball moving, Taylor eventually cleared the ball to the sideline and out of play.
After a slow first quarter start where SU had just one shot, the Orange were routinely on the attack throughout the game. But even though the offense created opportunities, SU couldn’t convert.
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