Oct. 14, 2017
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team (12-2, 4-1 ACC) picked up a 2-1 road win at No. 7 Syracuse (10-4, 2-4 ACC) on Saturday (Oct. 14) at J.S. Coyne Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.
The Virginia defense prevented Syracuse from taking a shot in the first half, but the Orange scored on its first opportunity in the second half, taking a 1-0 lead 5:14 into the period. That score stood until freshman midfielder Pien Dicke (Den Haag, Netherlands) tied the game with 14:09 remaining. Senior midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) scored what would be the game-winning goal with 8:40 remaining.
“Any game is hard in the ACC, let alone to take one from Syracuse up here in New York,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “Kudos to Syracuse. They played really well. It was a hard-fought game by both teams. Our players did a great job of focusing on the game plan, sticking to it and ignoring the scoreboard while finding a way to win it. The defense really showed up. Every single person did their job. They worked together as a unit and were able to early-deflect away a lot of attacking opportunities.”
Syracuse appeared to take a 1-0 lead with 2:39 remaining in the first half, but a video review of the goal showed the shot originated from outside the circle and was not touched on the way to the goal, erasing the score and the shot from the board.
The Orange scored on their first official shot of the game, taking advantage of its first penalty corner opportunity five minutes into the second half. On Syracuse’s second penalty corner, Dicke charged from the cage up toward the top of circle, stealing the ball and taking off on a breakaway. Dicke dished the ball over to freshman forward Makayla Gallen (Glen Mills, Pa.) who then passed the ball back to Dicke in the circle who scored to tie the game.
Vittese’s game-winning goal came on one of UVA’s 11 penalty corner chances. After a stick stop from senior midfielder Nadine de Koning (Laren, Netherlands), Vittese dribbled twice to look for the shot she wanted to take before firing in the game-winning goal.
Syracuse had an opportunity to tie the game at the end of regulation. The Orange were awarded a penalty corner with under a minute left to play. The team let the clock wind down to zero, but were assessed a green card for delay of game for waiting too long to start the corner, which sent their captain and usual hitter Roos Weers to the sideline to serve the penalty. The Orange injected the ball and Dicke again charged the top of the circle, stealing the ball and dribbling it out to end the game and preserve the victory.
This was the fifth time this season the Cavaliers have played in a top-10 showdown, picking up victories over then-No. 1 Duke and No. 8 Boston College but falling to then-No. 7 Penn State and No. 6 North Carolina.
Virginia outshot Syracuse, 12-3. The Orange had two shots on goal, scoring on one with Virginia redshirt junior Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) stopping the other.
Vittese’s goal was her 22nd of the season while Dicke logged her 19th.
Virginia is tied with Louisville for first place in the ACC.
The Cavaliers, who played 11 of their first 13 games at Turf Field, play their final regular-season home game of the year on Tuesday, October 17 when they host No. 16 Maryland at 5 p.m. The Virginia seniors will be honored in a short ceremony after the match. Admission is free for all of Virginia’s regular-season home field hockey games.