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As the ball was inbounded for Syracuse’s second penalty corner of the game at the start of the third period, SJ Quigley drifted toward the left side of the cage. The shot flew in from Charlotte de Vries, and Quigley — who positioned herself in front of the left post — was in the right place at the right time. A slight deflection changed the ball’s trajectory, but Quigley turned it in for Syracuse’s first goal of the season.
Then, with the Orange trailing by one goal, Quigley turned into the creator. With 11 minutes remaining in regulation, she drove down to the endline and picked out Florine van Boetzelaer on a sharp 10-yard pass. The freshman was covered, but the accuracy of Quigley’s pass allowed van Boetzelaer to tie the game with ease.
On Friday, Syracuse lost 1-0 to Virginia (3-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) courtesy of a late Laura Janssen goal that came in the final two minutes of regulation. Sunday, the Orange (0-2, 0-1) forced double-overtime but ultimately came up short, losing 3-2, when Amber Ezechiels notched her second goal of the game in the 75th minute.
Despite playing against a conference opponent, Sunday’s game won’t count toward conference play for either team. It’s one of three games SU was scheduled to play this season that don’t go toward the standings.
Offensively, the Orange struggled early on, registering only three shots in the first two periods, compared to 10 for the Cavaliers. It took SU until the end of the first quarter to have its first shot, which came from de Vries.
In the first half, the Orange struggled to complete a series of passes and had difficulty with Virginia’s high press. Most of play was Syracuse defending in its own half, and de Vries, Carolin Hoffmann and Chiara Gutsche saw very little of the ball.
On one occasion midway through the second period, a long-pass landed right between Carly Bothof and Gustche as the two looked at each other, seeming to think the other had it. On another occasion, four Syracuse players surrounded one Virginia defender, but when SU tried to connect passes, the lone Cavalier defender won the ball back with ease. Virginia threaded passes all over SU’s side of the field, connecting on through balls and give-and-gos. The Orange gave up five penalty corners in the first half and had only one of their own.
But momentum shifted with Quigley’s goal in the third period. Against a strong Virginia defense, the Orange looked dangerous, at times. de Vries finished with five shots, but was quiet compared to her usual self. Almost every time she got the ball, three or four Virginia defenders applied heavy pressure, not allowing de Vries — or SU’s other forwards, for that matter — space to turn and shoot on target. Freshman defender Eefke van den Nieuwenhof also notched three shots, including one on a penalty corner that sailed wide left of the cage.
Quigley had a chance to win the game in the last two minutes, once again driving down the endline and all the way to the cage when no defender pressured her. From a few yards away, she fired a shot that bounced off the Virginia goalie and into the side netting.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Syracuse lost the ball deep in its own half and junior goalie Syd Taylor was beaten. With the net empty, the Cavaliers’ forward fired a shot, but van den Nieuwenhof was there to clear it off the line.
Taylor finished with four saves, including an acrobatic effort where she punched the ball over the top of the cage with less than two minutes left in the fourth period, forcing overtime. She also kicked a ball clear during the golden-goal overtime period, and stood tall to make a strong one-vs-one save minutes later when the Syracuse defense left Makayla Gallen wide open on a blown coverage.
By the second overtime period, both sides looked fatigued. With only seven players from each team on the field, instead of the usual 11, space opened up and SU’s defense had a lot more ground to cover.
In the final five minutes of the second overtime period, the ball once again found Gallen on an inbound play along the right sideline. Gallen beat her defender and connected with a streaking, unmarked Ezechiels. The Virginia forward fired her shot, which sunk over Taylor’s head and crashed into the back of the net to end the game.
Syracuse returns to J.S. Coyne Stadium for back-to-back games next weekend against Boston College on Oct. 10 and 11.
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