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Penalty corner goals doom No. 19 Syracuse in 2-0 loss to No. 5 Virginia

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first_img Published on September 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+ As SJ Quigley unintentionally deflected a penalty corner shot over the head of goalie Sarah Sinck and into the back of the cage, two Orange defenders stood in penalty gear with their heads facing their feet.The Orange had dominated UVA in nearly every statistical category, and yet they looked up at the scoreboard and saw a one-goal deficit. Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley tried to salvage hope for the Orange by asking for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to review the play. The referee motioned a rectangle with his hands and jogged toward the touch screen on the sideline to review the play.“It was a blockout,” junior Carolin Hoffmann said. “Their striker blocked out our fly so we asked for it. They didn’t see it the same way.”The referee returned and pointed both fingers to the turf of J.S. Coyne Stadium, signaling the game’s first goal. UVA fans stood up, pumped their arms and cheered as a few SU fans yelled, “Obstruction” in objection to the decision.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 19 Syracuse (5-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) had outshot the Cavaliers nine to three before the goal and had controlled more possession. Yet, No. 5 UVA (6-1, 1-0) executed in two penalty corner situations, handing the Orange a 2-0 defeat. Following the first goal, SU struggled to move the ball up the field, only recording one shot in the final quarter.After the game, a few players cried as they realized a marquee victory over one of the nation’s best had slipped through their fingers. “Obviously, we’re frustrated but taking out of that game we can really see that we can play with the top teams in the nation,” Hoffmann said.In the first 43 minutes, the Orange controlled the midfield, pressing UVA to play the ball between its backs instead of up to its forwards. The Cavaliers only had three shots in the first half.Freshman Charlotte de Vries, while being shadowed by preseason All-ACC back Amber Ezechiels, tallied two shots on goal, the most of anyone on Syracuse. She used her blazing speed and dazzling stick skills to run toward the endline, creating multiple chances for SU. But Virginia goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer, who’s only allowed five goals in seven starts this year, stifled every Orange opportunity. de Vries, who leads the ACC in goals, couldn’t decipher the quick reactions of Hausheer – her dangerous shot off a penalty corner in the first half was somehow kicked away. “I thought we were holding up really well,” freshman Olivia Graham said. “I thought we all did well at staying together and fighting for what we wanted.”That sentiment flipped after the first goal. UVA held more possession, holding the ball in the SU half and continually putting Graham and senior back Claire Webb under pressure. One minute into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers earned another penalty corner after the ball bounced off a SU player’s foot. The Orange, following the first penalty corner goal, moved Webb into a defensive position in front of goal. It didn’t matter. UVA’s Anzel Viljoen played the ball into Greer Gill. Her deflected shot fell right to Cato Geusgens, who fired a looping shot past Sinck. Graham raised her stick in the air at the last second to try and keep it out of the net. Realizing her efforts were futile, she tossed her helmet off the field in disgust as Webb called for a team huddle to rescue any remaining energy.“Do a better job better defending our shell so that we give up fewer corners,” Bradley said. “That’s the best protection for defensive penalty corner defense.”Entering a matchup with No. 2 Duke on Friday, Sept. 27, the Orange don’t have much time to fix their issues defending set pieces besides Colgate in two days. Bradley cited that film and repetition in practice are the only ways to fill the holes at the back.Still, there are signs of optimism. Thirteen days ago, SU struggled to even fire shots on goal in a disappointing 2-1 loss to unranked Cornell. The Orange had little to no answer as the Big Red double- and triple-teamed de Vries.Now, SU outshot the No. 5 team in the nation. To Hoffmann, that’s a sign of a team that has yet to reach its peak. “It’s a loss for us but we can also see that we have a lot of potential,” Hoffmann said. Commentslast_img read more