With the score tied 0-0 after the first half, the Orange offense came alive in the final 35 minutes as the Syracuse field hockey team (19-3) defeated Richmond, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
Heather Susek scored both goals for the Orange, which will face either Maryland or Iowa in the second round at 2 p.m. Sunday with the winner advancing to the national semifinals.
While the Spiders held a 6-3 shot advantage through the first half, SU began to dictate the style of play in the second, holding a 9-3 edge in shots and generating numerous shot opportunities.
Richmond had ball possession in the Syracuse defensive zone, forcing SU goalkeeper Leann Stiver to make several stops to keep the Spiders off the board. Stiver had four saves in the game.
The Orange, trying to capitalize on its only penalty corner of the first half, drew a penalty stroke with 2:45 left in the opening half after Liz McInerney’s shot from inside the circle. Martina Loncarica took the stroke for SU, but was denied by Richmond goalkeeper Anna Zarkoski (five saves).
Coming out of the halftime break, Susek gave Syracuse a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute of play when she found herself in the right position as Loncarica fired a long ball from the right side that was redirected by Susek past Zarkowski for her 18th goal of the season.
SU continued to apply pressure on the Spiders, and Susek provided some breathing room with her second goal of the day when she hammered home a shot into the left corner off a pass from Jordan Page.