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Wake Forest Athletics | September 16, 2017

No. 16 Wake Forest's overtime winner downs third-ranked Syracuse

  Nicola Pluta scored the game-winner less than two minutes into overtime on Saturday afternoon.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The No. 16 Wake Forest field hockey team rallied from a one-goal deficit in the second half to defeat No. 3 Syracuse 2-1 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. 

The Deacs (4-3, 2-0 ACC) conceded an early second half goal to fall behind 1-0 but quickly responded with a goal of their own to tie the game at a goal apiece. After forcing overtime with strong defense late in the second half, Nicola Pluta ended the game just two minutes into the extra period with her second goal of the season. 

The win is the team's second in the last three contests over a top-five opponent. Last Friday, the Deacs defeated No. 4 North Carolina 3-1. 

Jule Grashoff added her team-leading sixth goal of the season to tie the game midway through the second half. Goalkeeper Isla Bint continued her strong play, allowing just one goal for the third straight game, despite facing 11 Syracuse shots. 

The first half was a defensive battle, as both sides produced just two shot attempts. Bint delivered a save on the only shot on goal she faced in the first 35 minutes. 

The Orange (7-1, 1-1 ACC) struck first in the second half, scoring in the 49th minute on Elaine Carey's first goal of the season. Wake Forest quickly responded with Grashoff's sixth goal of the season. The goal was the first that Syracuse had allowed all season. Although the Orange engineered a flurry of shots late in the second half, the Deacs held steady and forced the game into overtime. 

MORE: Weekend preview | Top 25 poll

In the team's first OT game of the season, Pluta converted in just the second minute to give the Deacs the victory and their third consecutive win overall. 

For the game, the Deacs generated five shot attempts compared to Syracuse's 11. However, the Orange only had a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. Syracuse also had a 5-2 edge in penalty corners, but were unable to convert one into a goal. 

Up next, the Deacs will remain on the road, as they travel to No. 11 Louisville to take on the Cardinals Friday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. ET.

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