In the 72nd minute, senior Meghan Root found herself in space and with an option to her right. Root, with no opening to shoot, threaded a through ball to freshman Kylen Grant, who subbed into the game in the first half. She took contact, stayed on her feet and looked up to see herself one-on-one with New Hampshire goalkeeper Cat Sheppard.
Grant remained focused and slotted home Syracuse’s opening goal past the stretching Sheppard and into the bottom right-hand corner. It was her first-ever collegiate goal, and SU finally had liftoff.
Syracuse (4-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its first away game of the season — a 2-0 shutout — at New Hampshire (1-3-1, 0-0 America East Conference) Sunday afternoon. The victory makes three wins in a row for the Orange, a mark the program hasn’t hit since 2016.
Syracuse saw the first half go back and forth with the Wildcats, as neither side could find the opener. SU’s defense stood their ground and limited their opponent to only three shots. In the 12th minute, a cross in from the left side of the box deflected off Syracuse goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx and fell into the path of a UNH player, whose shot was timely blocked by an Orange defender.
Later in the half, a shot from the left caused trouble for Proulx in the 33rd minute, but Grace Franklin cleared away the danger. Proulx saw another cross sent toward her area five minutes later, but she was able to hold on and catch the ball to alleviate the pressure.
SU also saw its fair share of chances to take the lead in the first half but could not convert. In the 15th minute, Meghan Root spun around toward goal and sent a shot rising near the roof of the net, which the UNH keeper acrobatically punched over to keep the tie level.
Five minutes later, Root again found herself in a scoring position before she was flattened by a UNH defender for a penalty. Telly Vunipola, Syracuse’s usual penalty taker, saw her low attempt toward the bottom right corner saved after Sheppard dove for the ball. The ensuing corner led to another opportunity for defender Emma Klein, but Sheppard made another smart save to push the ball away from the top left corner.
The plot remained the same in the second half as Syracuse again held New Hampshire to just three shots. The Wildcats thought they had taken the lead in the 63rd minute after a far lofted cross from a free kick was headed down and in by defender Ella Dudley, but she was flagged for offsides and the goal was canceled out.
The game stayed open until Grant gave Syracuse the lead in the 72nd minute on its ninth shot of the game. Grant is already SU’s seventh different goal scorer so far this season.
UNH came close to tying it in the 80th minute, but the offsides flag was raised again after Proulx left her 18-yard box to sweep the ball away from an opposing player. The Orange added an insurance goal one minute later after a right-sided corner found freshman Pauline Machtens unmarked. Machtens — who has scored in consecutive games for the Orange — cushioned a header toward the far left post and, after striking the woodwork, watched her effort bounce off a UNH defender on the line and roll into an empty net.
Syracuse (4-1) is off to its best start to a season since 2013. The Orange return home to play their penultimate non-conference game Thursday against Cornell (1-2-1, 0-0 Ivy League) at the SU Soccer Stadium.
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