17 Sep

Syracuse defense breaks down on penalty corners in loss to Boston College

first_img Published on September 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman Romée Stiekema was at the center of a massive dogpile as her teammates poured onto the field to celebrate her game-winning goal, the first goal of her Boston College career.She was elated after the game discussing what had just transpired, but the same could not be said for Ange Bradley.The Syracuse head coach was very short when reflecting on what specifically went wrong on defense.“Well, they scored a goal,” Bradley deadpanned.A seesaw affair between No. 4 Syracuse and No. 11 Boston College was decided on penalty corners, which the Eagles converted on twice to register a 3-2 upset victory in overtime on Saturday at J.S. Coyne Stadium.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe perimeter of the Syracuse (6-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) circle was heavily infiltrated by nearly all seven BC (6-1, 1-0) players on the field in overtime. BC junior midfielder Stiekema received the inbound pass and dished it off to senior midfielder Katlyn Soulcy, who sent it right back to Stiekema and she fired a shot past SU junior goalie Jess Jecko.“We draw a lot of penalty corners as a team,” Stiekema said. “So I think it was sort of an appropriate ending to have that happen.”Bradley said her team didn’t get enough pressure on the ball on the final play of the game, which can be a tough undertaking in overtime with only six players aside from the goalie on the field.In the opening five minutes of play, the Orange jumped out to a 1-0 lead. The Eagles responded less than three minutes later on a corner by senior midfielder Emma Plasteras. She inbounded the ball to Soulcy, who set the ball for sophomore midfielder Emily McCoy.McCoy fired a shot through a swarm of Orange jerseys to the top shelf of the goal after partially deflecting it off an SU stick.Junior forward Emma Russell agreed that the handicapped defense was a half-second too late in overtime, but praised the Orange’s counterattack during both regulation periods.“In normal time our defense ran well,” Russell said. “We were very unlucky on the shot that hit our flyer’s stick and went in. It’s something that happens during the course of a season and we can’t change it.”The word of choice after the game for Russell was “frantic,” and she cited a lack of composure on both sides of the ball as a significant contribution to the first home loss of the season.The Syracuse defense held strong for nearly all 70 minutes of regulation, only allowing seven shots on target. Defending corners were the only volatile times for SU’s defense.The composure issue was rebuffed by Bradley, who commented on the faster pace of play against ACC opponents. She said plays need to be read quicker in order to halt scoring opportunities and that that comes with maturity.“There’s 10 people new doing something for the first time,” senior midfielder Jordan Paige said. “I think they’re starting to get it but as a group, there’s a lot of room to grow.”SU has allowed an average of 1.13 goals per game, a stellar mark in comparison to most of the conference. Defense as a whole hasn’t necessarily been the weakest point for Syracuse, but BC’s execution in a handful of plays was enough to amount to an overtime loss.The difference in those few plays may have been a lack of a guiding voice to better strategize defensive coverage on corners. It was something Russell picked up on, accompanied by a vow that improvement was coming.“In times today when things got frantic, we needed a voice that sometimes we didn’t have,” Russell said. “We’ll regroup together as a team.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more