UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For the second time in program history, Syracuse (19-2) is heading to the semifinals after defeating Penn State (18-4) 5-2 in the NCAA quarterfinals at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex on Sunday. The Orange will play No. 1-seeded North Carolina (22-1) in the national semifinals on Nov. 16. Princeton (18-1) and No. 6 Maryland (18-5) meet in the other semifinal.
Jordan Page scored two goals to lead the offense, while the defense, led by Leann Stiver’s season-high 13 saves, fought off 15 Nittany Lion penalty corners, 11 of which came in the second half.
“I’m just so proud for this team collectively and these seniors,” head coach Ange Bradley said. “This is their moment. They listened to a gameplan, they executed and they wanted something. They played so inspired [Sunday].”
Syracuse advances to its second NCAA semifinal in program history, both coming under the leadership of Bradley, now in her sixth season. The other appearance was in 2008 and this is the first time the Orange has won two games in the NCAA tournament away from home.
The Orange took control early, scoring the first half’s only two goals. Gillian Pinder struck first in the 19th minute, driving home a rebound for her 10th of the year, followed by Page’s goal off an Emma Russell assist with 4:52 left in the half.
The Nittany Lions came out strong in the second half, drawing nine penalty corners in the first 20 minutes. Whitney Reddig made it a 2-1 game with her fifth goal of the season with 18:54 to go.
Liz McInerney struck back for the Orange two minutes later, scoring her seventh goal of the season off a pass from Alyssa Manley, making it 3-1 with 16:42 left. Page then tacked on her second goal of the game and eighth of the season with 14:37 left off an assist from McInerney, making it 4-2.
Iona Holloway removed all doubt with 5:46 to go, knocking in the rebound of a Kelsey Millman shot for her second of the season, giving Syracuse a 5-1 lead.
Reddig scored her second goal of the game and sixth of the season for Penn State with 2:24 to go, before the Orange ran down the clock to win 5-2.