College field hockey: Big first half leads No. 4 Syracuse past No. 2 Duke
It was all Orange from the start at J.S. Coyne Stadium on Friday night, as the No. 4 Syracuse field hockey team (11-1, 3-1 ACC) took down No. 2 Duke (10-2, 3-2 ACC) by a score of 5-1 after a dominant first half performance.
In the final ACC regular season home game for Syracuse, the team jumped out to a 4-0 halftime lead and never looked back, maintaining control of the game from start the finish, scoring on four of the team's first six corner attempts in 25 minutes to put the game out of reach early.
After the Orange's first penalty corner narrowly missed the cage on a shot from Roos Weers that sailed just high, the team quickly gained another, putting the pressure on the Blue Devils close to nine minutes into the game. This time, Weers converted, taking the ball from Elaine Carey to one side of the arc before drag flicking it into the top corner of the net.
Not even 10 minutes later, the Orange got another chance at a penalty corner. This time, Weers received the insertion directly, collecting the ball from Jennifer Bleakney before finding the back of the net yet again.
Syracuse would not stop there. With less than two minutes passing since the team's second goal, yet another penalty corner was earned. This time, Duke keeper Sammi Steele saved the corner. However, Emma Lamison was there to collect the rebound and push the ball passed the goal line, putting the Orange up 3-0.
With 8:59 to play in the half, 'Cuse extended its lead to four. After another penalty corner was saved, Lamison's positioning allowed for yet another rebound, and consequently another goal.
Heading into the halftime locker room up 4-0, the Orange had also outshot Duke 11-2 and had eight penalty corners to Duke's one.
Halftime - Syracuse posted a stellar 1st 35, out-shooting #2 Duke 12-2 and winning corners 8-1 to take a 4-0 lead over the Blue Devils. pic.twitter.com/CcgDsEgTM5— Orange Field Hockey (@CuseFH) October 7, 2016
After back-and-forth play ensued for the first 28 minutes of the second half, Duke got on the board with a goal from Aisling Naughton, who picked up a rebound in front of a crowded net and beat keeper Regan Spencer.
Just two minutes later, the Orange struck back. After assisting on the first goal of the game, Carey got a goal of her own, receiving a pass from Lamison on yet another penalty corner and beating Steele to push the lead back to four.
The game would end 5-1 in favor of the Orange, who outshot Duke 14-10 and converted on five-of-10 penalty corners throughout the game. Spencer made five saves, while Lamison led the way with six points on two goals and two assists. Weers added four points for the Orange, scoring twice, while Carey added three points to her season total as well. Bleakney rounded out the 'Cuse offense with an assist of her own.
The Orange will travel to Cornell on Sunday in search of the team's fifth straight win. Game time is at 3 p.m. in Ithaca, New York and the action will be broadcast on IVY League Digital Network.
FINAL- No. 4 Syracuse downs No. 2 Duke, 5-1! Returns to action Sunday at Cornell. pic.twitter.com/8dmmu3B4uq— Orange Field Hockey (@CuseFH) October 7, 2016