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Page, ‘Cuse fall to UConn in title game
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.
“Congratulations to Connecticut for winning the national championship today,” head coach Ange Bradley said. “It was a well-fought game. I extend the deepest gratitude to Syracuse University and my athletes for taking us somewhere where we have never been before. It means so much to me to see so many of our alums out here to watch us write history.”
Cocalico graduate and Syracuse senior back Jordan Page started and played all 70 minutes for the Orange (18-6), who were the main aggressors 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.
Page, a Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Region Second Team performer this season, scored eight goals and added 14 assists this season for the Orange.
Syracuse advanced to Sunday’s finals after defeating top-ranked North Carolina, 3-2, in a penalty shootout on Friday.
Warwick graduate Alyssa Manley tallied the game-winning goal on the sixth shot of the shootout.