Sept. 19, 2010

Michelle Cesan scored with 1:10 left in regulation to lead the fourth-ranked Princeton field hockey team to a 1-0 win over eighth-ranked Syracuse on Sunday afternoon at Class of '52 Stadium.

Both teams excelled defensively in the game limiting quality chances at both ends of the field. Syracuse was effective at slowing down the Princeton offense, while the Tiger defenders were equally stingy, especially in and around the circle.

The teams played a scoreless first half that saw Syracuse outshoot Princeton 7-6 despite being outcornered 8-6. Syracuse goalkeeper Leann Stiver stopped Kathleen Sharkey on a pair of penalty corner chances, while Princeton goalie Christina Maida made two saves in a short span on Maggie Befort and Martina Loncarica, also both on corner chances.

Princeton had a good start to the second half, prompting a Syracuse timeout. Following the stoppage, play balanced out again with few chances at each end as the teams traded possessions.

Play opened up as the game entered its final 10 minutes with six shots on goal recorded in the final 10 minutes. Sharkey had a chance on a corner stopped in the 63rd minute before Maida answered at the opposite send with a save on an Ashtin Klingler shot. Less than a minute later Cesan had a chance on a deflection that was stopped by Stiver and Syracuse quickly countered with Maida making a stop with her right arm on an open shot from Kristen Girouard.

Princeton used its timeout at 68:22 after gaining possession to set up for the final minute of play. The Tigers first attempt in the circle was stopped by Syracuse but an Orange turnover gave the ball to Amanda Bird, who fed Cesan just outside of the circle. Cesan entered the arc and took a hard low shot that eluded Stiver and gave the Tigers the win. It was her third goal of the season and came on her fourth shot of the game.

Syracuse had one last chance to draw even as Heather Susek maintained possession in the Princeton circle with time running down. Susek managed a shot from the left side but Maida came out to challenge her and knocked it away as the horn sounded to end the game.

Shots finished tied at 13-13 with Princeton gaining 11 corners to Syracuse's nine. Stiver made seven saves in the loss while Maida made six for the win.

Princeton is now 5-0 overall following its first win of the season against a ranked opponent and its third-straight against Syracuse. The Tigers visit Yale next Saturday.e left.