Syracuse Loses 1-0 to UConn in NCAA Final


The Orange suffers a 1-0 setback in its first-ever NCAA final appearance

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (cuse.com) – In its first-ever NCAA Tournament final, the No. 4 Syracuse University field hockey team suffered a 1-0 setback to No. 3 Connecticut on Sunday afternoon at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex on the campus of the University of Maryland. Connecticut, the 2013 national champion, used a first-half goal to secure its second straight national championship.

Syracuse (18-6) was the main aggressor throughout, outshooting Connecticut (20-3), 7-4. After only recording one shot in the first half, the Orange recorded six shots in the second frame, but could not tie things up in its first-ever national final appearance.

The Orange controlled possession for the majority of the first half, but could not capitalize initially. UConn got on the board off a penalty corner in the 26th minute of play, its first real chance of the game. Junior midfielder Mackenzie Townsend deflected the ball just over a diving attempt from Syracuse junior goalkeeper Jess Jecko.

Syracuse was looking to knot things up for the remainder of regulation. One of its best opportunities came in the final 10 minutes. Freshman forward Laura Hurff collected a pass inside the circle down the right side. Hurff had the charging goalkeeper to beat, but sent the shot just wide of the cage.

Only minutes later, Syracuse had another great chance. A frenzy emerged right in front of the cage and junior forward Emma Russell emerged with the ball on the left post. She sent one to the far post, just inches away from tying the game.

The team's final opportunity came with 20 seconds left to play as the Orange was awarded a penalty corner. Freshman forward Jessica Ross was fed the ball inside the circle, but could not get it on cage and Connecticut would come away with the victory.

Graduate student forward Kati Nearhouse, junior midfielder Alyssa Manley, and freshman forward Lies Lagerweij all were named to the All-NCAA Tournament Team.

With the playing of the national final, the Syracuse field hockey team has completed its 2014 season. The future looks bright for the Orange, despite the loss of seniors Lauren Brooks, Nearhouse, and Jordan Page. Syracuse will return its top-two scorers in Russell and freshman midfielder Lieke Visser. The Orange will look to extend its streak to eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, as well.