Defensive mishaps plague No. 10 Syracuse in loss against No. 1 Connecticut

first_img Comments In a scoreless game midway through the first quarter, Connecticut lined up for a penalty corner. Abby Gooderham’s shot deflected off of two Syracuse defenders and under goalie Borg van der Velde’s pads. As the ball dribbled out, midfielder Jamie Martin and back Roos Weers repeatedly swung at it. They never completed the clear. Instead, Connecticut’s Jessica Dembrowski converted, sinking the ball into the back of the cage. This defensive error, along with two others throughout the game, overshadowed an otherwise strong defensive game by the No. 10 Orange in a 3-0 loss to No. 1 Connecticut Sunday afternoon at J.S Coyne Stadium.For the majority of Sunday’s loss, Syracuse’s defenders contained a potent offense. The Orange cleared odd-man rushes and deflected shots away from the cage and goalie Borg van der Velde. Untimely defensive errors where what plagued Syracuse in its second consecutive loss.“Statistically, we were dead even,” SU head coach Ange Bradley said. “It’s a matter of taking big moments and learning from them, which we will.”Connecticut (6-0), didn’t overpower Syracuse (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) with their offense like it has previous opponents. The Huskies average more than four goals per game, and have scored under 3 goals once. On Sunday, they tied the Orange in shots with six apiece and had what Bradley described as a nearly equal time of possession.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEarly in the second half, freshman back Sasha Bull’s pass in from the sideline never made it to a Syracuse stick. Pieper intercepted the pass and carried the ball forward. Moments later she reverse hit the ball into the top portion of the Syracuse goal.“It happens,” Weers said regarding Bull’s turnover. “It’s up to me to ask for the ball there in the back, but like I said, it happens. Initially, I wasn’t too happy, but I just had to give her confidence, and she bounced back immediately.”The third UConn goal was similar to its first. With just over a minute left, Gooderham’s shot on the penalty corner was saved by van der Velde. The rebound bounced off of Weers’ shin and onto the stick of Svea Boker’s stick, and her diving shot found the back of the cage.“You have to box out, it’s just like basketball, and not stand up and watch it,” Bradley said regarding her team’s difficulty with clearing rebounds at times during the game. “When you have a 24- or 25-year-old Olympian, you can’t give a wide open shot to somebody like that.”With the exception of these three error, however, the Orange defenders didn’t allow the Connecticut attackers any open pathways to the cage. Less than 2 minutes after her turnover, Bull broke up a centering pass on a Connecticut attack, knocking the ball out of bounds off of a driving Husky. Bull and Weers, along with junior back Claire Webb, played all 70 minutes in the game.The bright spots against a top team are what excites Bradley headed into the ACC schedule.“It’s a learning moment,” she said. “Connecticut’s the gold standard, they haven’t lost a game in 29 games now, dating back to 2016.“We’ve got more opportunities in front of us, and we’ve just have to get out there on our own, practice, and get better,” Bradley continued. “This is an opportunity of where do we want to get in November.” Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on September 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrewlast_img

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