Syracuse ensures worst ACC record with 3-2, double-overtime loss to Louisville

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Senior Roos Weers walked away from the goal and threw her facemask and stick to the sideline. She bent over to pick up both before shoving her stick into her field hockey bag. Shouting in Dutch, she started tearing up. Assistant coach Katie Gerzabek walked toward Weers, placing her arm around the senior, who was doubled over on the sideline. Weers walked back to the team huddle with Gerzabek, and led the line in the post-game handshakes at midfield for the final time at J.S. Coyne Stadium.It was the final time she’d play at home, and SU had squandered a 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes to play. No. 15 Syracuse (8-6, 1-5 Atlantic Coast) ended conference play on the same note it started it: a double-overtime loss. No. 10 Louisville (12-4, 3-3) scored a goal with 33 seconds left in double overtime to seal SU’s fate, winning 3-2. On Sept. 7, Syracuse opened ACC play in Charlottesville. Syracuse led Virginia 1-0, before the Cavaliers scored an equalizer and a winner in double overtime.Even as the months changed and temperatures dropped, the results remained the same for the Orange. SU failed to register a shot against Duke. The Orange lost 4-1 to Wake Forest and 5-1 to North Carolina. Syracuse entered Friday night needing a win to avoid its worst conference record since joining the ACC in 2013. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFriday night was the final time that SU’s three seniors, Weers, Caroline Cady and Jamie Martin would play at home for the Orange. Weers said she wanted to make it count. And Syracuse had a chance to do just that with a 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes to play. The Orange couldn’t hold on. “We played very well, I’m proud of the way we played,” Weers said. “You need to get the win in the end. Sometimes you play ugly and win. Today we played pretty and didn’t win.”The opening 10 minutes found the Orange on their heels. Louisville controlled the flow of play from the opening minutes. Following extended pressure in the SU half, Louisville’s Mercedes Pastor ran to her right, before shooting. The ball took a deflection on its way past SU sophomore goalie Borg van der Velde. After allowing that goal 8:18 into the game, van der Velde made two important saves to prevent the lead from doubling.“The defense did a really good job of keeping us in the game,” van der Velde said. “As long as you keep the goal clean, the offense will create the chances to win.”First, she nearly went into a split to kick away a long-range ground attempt to her right. Next, she stepped up out of her cage to make a kick save to her left. It wasn’t until the final three minutes of the first half that Syracuse generated its first chance. Freshman SJ Quigley won a corner by finding the foot of a Cardinals defender.As is the Orange’s routine, Syracuse converted its typical corner routine. Carolin Hoffmann inserted the ball, Claire Webb stopped it, and Weers flicked it into the goal. A difficult first half of offense was erased from memory as Weers shouted and fist-pumped.With less than 15 minutes left in the game, neither team had posted a shot or corner in the second half. For 20 minutes, attacks at both ends routinely fizzled out or were smothered by the defenses. Weers tried multiple longer passes, none of which effectively created clear chances.SU won its second corner of the game. Hoffmann, Webb and Weers connected again to give Syracuse the lead. A near exact copy of the first goal, Weers celebrated and looked at her father, Rob, standing on the 10th row of the bleachers by himself.  He surprised her in Syracuse at practice on Thursday ahead of her senior night ceremony.Leading 2-1, all the Orange needed to do was hold on. Louisville earned a penalty corner with 8:30 to go. A problem that has plagued the Orange for most of the season, they couldn’t clear the rebound off a corner. Van der Velde saved the initial shot while laying on the ground, but the ensuing scramble tied the game. AnnMarie Habelow poked the ball into the empty net. For the sixth time this season, the Orange went into overtime. Despite SU’s 4-1 record in extra time games entering Friday night, Louisville earned three penalty corners to zero for SU during the 20 minutes of extra action.“It’s pretty much the same,” Weers said of the 7-on-7 overtime. “We’ve played a lot of overtime games this year. Looking back on it after, nothing physically changes. It’s all mental.”Even as the Orange pressed on and tried to attack, they couldn’t force corners or clear chances. Five consecutive penetrations into the circle for the Orange resulted in zero shots and zero corners. SU killed off UofL’s first two corners, but the third proved too much. The referee awarded a penalty corner, but Weers didn’t think it was one. SU had burned its only video referral earlier in the game, so the Orange had no choice but to accept the decision. Pastor corralled the ball off the insert and fired immediately towards goal. Her shot deflected off Louisville’s Alli Bitting and into the net. As the ball rattled off the backboard, Syracuse’s fate was sealed. Pastor turned toward her bench, throwing her hands into the air to celebrate. Weers threw her facemask and stick. “I thought we did well, the ball didn’t fall our way,” Bradley said. “We have to generate more shots, we have to keep working on that. I thought we responded well.”Even as the Orange responded to conceding the early goal, Friday night ended as all but one of its conference games have this season, in defeat. Bradley sat down at the press conference after the game, crying after she was asked about her seniors. “I feel we failed them,” Bradley said. “We need to be better for our seniors. That upsets me. I care about them a lot, and they deserve better than what we gave them tonight.” Comments Published on October 19, 2018 at 11:21 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img

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