SU field hockey weathers obstacles, wins overtime thriller against Louisville

first_img Comments For 55 minutes, everything was going right for the Syracuse field hockey team. Despite calls from the referee that caused an Orange player to fall to her knees and a five-minute stretch of being two players down, the Orange found a way to keep a lead for most of the game. Then after failing to score on a two-man advantage, Louisville finally broke through. With fewer than 15 minutes left to play, Louisville’s Haley Jurich deflected a pass into the top of Syracuse’s net. It broke the tie, and it came just three minutes after SU’s Nicole Nelson was booked for a yellow card. Ange Bradley called a timeout. Keep competing, she said to a team that had seemingly lost all of its momentum. Don’t get frustrated. The Orange listened and went on to win 4-3 in an overtime thriller. ‘As a team, we are able to calm each other down on the field, and we want to set the tone of the game,’ senior forward Lindsey Conrad said. ‘When things happen, like the yellow cards and the calls not going our way, we just know that we have to step back, calm ourselves down, and we can pick it up from there.’ The Orange took those steps back, and then got back to its game Saturday at J.S. Coyne Stadium in front of a crowd of 389. SU tied the game near the end of regulation and went on to the win as junior midfielder Martina Loncarica buried a shot from the top of the penalty area just more than 11 minutes into overtime.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Bradley said the close win was something her squad has been in search of, and to finally get the result was a relief. ‘Tuesday morning I woke up at 4 a.m. and I said, ‘I’m sick of losing,” Bradley said. The Orange jumped out to a 2-0 lead fewer then seven minutes into the contest, drawing three penalty corners to the Cardinals’ none. Freshman midfielder Leonie Geyer scored the first goal off the Orange’s first penalty corner of the day. Three minutes later, the Orange got on the board again. Conrad took a loose ball from outside the key, went to the front of the net and sent the ball by the outstretched body of her little sister Erin, who was playing goalie for Louisville. Conrad not only one-upped her little sister with the attempt, but also became SU’s all-time leading goal scorer with the unassisted score. ‘It feels amazing,’ Conrad said of the record-setting goal. ‘This program has so much history, and it’s awesome to be able to compete at that level.’ Tempers started to flare in second half when senior back Maggie Befort was given a yellow card with her team up 2-1. Befort pushed Louisville’s Jurich, and Jurich responded by slashing Befort’s stick out of her hands. Less than a minute later, SU senior forward Shelby Schraden was also given a yellow card, putting the Orange down two players for five minutes. Though the Orange successfully killed off the penalties, it was the Cardinals that came off with an aggressive edge. Louisville swarmed to the ball and dominated the game in a similar fashion the Orange had at the start of the match, scoring two goals in a four-minute stretch, forcing Bradley to call a timeout, down 3-2. Despite being visibly distraught, the team knew what it had to do. Its members had been through too much over the past couple of seasons to think this game was out of hand. Loncarica — who was the one to fall to her knees in disbelief after a penalty corner was called on her and who zipped her mouth shut after a quick outburst at the ref — said having experienced similar situations before helped her team to keep an even keel. ‘It’s always going to happen,’ Loncarica said. ‘Sometimes they are going to call for you, sometimes they are not. You just have to play.’ And eventually, as if on cue, the Orange got the break it knew it would get. After failing to convert on its first two penalty corners in overtime, the Orange made sure its third was the last. After receiving the inbound, Loncarica touched the ball to Geyer, who returned the favor to give Loncarica an open shot at the net. Loncarica stroked the ball to the back of the net, and the emotions poured out as her teammates tackled her on the spot. ‘We had moments of greatness,’ Bradley said. ‘We had moments where we were really unraveled, and we found a way. That’s a huge sign of growth for us. We haven’t done that thus far this season.’ [email protected] Published on September 26, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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