Field Hockey

No. 5 Syracuse holds Bucknell shotless, dominates in 5-0 win

Jordan Phelps | Staff Photographer

The Orange dominated right from the start, posting its fourth shutout in as many games.

At the end of Saturday afternoon’s game at J.S. Coyne Stadium, the scoreboard favored Syracuse as expected. But Bucknell failed to record a goal, penalty corner or even a shot on the Orange. That was anything but expected.

No. 5 Syracuse (4-0) dominated the Bison (1-2) for nearly 70 minutes in the team’s 5-0 home-opening win. The Orange offense tallied 18 shots on Bucknell goalkeeper Emily Finn, as five different SU players finished with two-plus shots. On the backline, the defense didn’t even allow a Bucknell shot, as goalkeeper Borg van der Velde extended the Orange’s shutout streak to four games.

“We really take pride in being a passing team.” Syracuse head coach Bradley said. “To be able to see that starting to fire and people starting to connect is good.”

The first 10 minutes was back and forth, but SU soon began to control possession and pour on shots. Once the Orange had the ball, it didn’t take long to find the back of the net. At the 11:42 mark in the first half, junior forward Jennifer Bleakney was passed the ball inside the arc. She lofted it out of the reach of a charging Finn and into the back of the net.

Four shots and almost 20 minutes later, Caroline Cady found the ball with room to run after a long pass from Roos Weers. The senior forward took off down the sideline, and as the endline approached, began to curl her run toward the net. She finished past Finn, and the Orange went to break up 2-0.

“I think we did a really good job finding the simple passes today, and not trying to force a lot,” midfielder Laura Hurff said.

Shots often came in bunches for the home team on Saturday. In a two-minute span in the first half, SU racked up three shots and a penalty corner.

The most dominant sequence of the game started midway in the second half. SU strung together back-to-back-to-back penalty corners in the matter of a couple minutes. Although the Orange never broke through on the corners, Syracuse controlled possession, not allowing Bucknell to create many opportunities. 

“(Our offense) was completely good from the front to the back,” freshman forward Carolin Hoffmann said.

While time of possession isn’t a defined statistic in field hockey, Syracuse seemed to take control. While the Orange operated its offense as usual — swinging the ball side to side with the backs and pushing the offense up through its wings — Bucknell struggled to even cross midfield. Syracuse had more first half shots (seven) than times Bucknell put the ball in van der Velde’s arc all game (three).

After goals from Hoffmann and Hurff, Emma Tufts had an opportunity to score SU’s fifth goal of the afternoon. With just under 10 minutes remaining, freshman Chiara Gutsche flung a pass Tufts’ way inside the arc. The junior forward received the pass cleanly and finished, slotting the ball through Finn’s legs and into the back of the net.

In the first game back at home since a season-ending loss to Connecticut in the NCAA tournament in 2016, Syracuse dominated. Trying to think of something that went poorly, Hoffmann blanked.

“I can’t really say (anything went wrong),” Hoffmann said.

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