Feb. 23, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Two 4-0 runs by No. 2 Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC) in the midst of the first period spelled the difference as the Orange were victorious over No. 9 Virginia (1-3, 0-1 ACC), 18-14, at Klöckner Stadium in each team's ACC opener on Sunday afternoon.
"I think we have all the right players and the right toughness and grit," said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. "What we are lacking is being clutch in key moments. A goal here, better shooting on the eight-meter, a couple of groundballs, a couple more clean transitions and I think we could have had a chance. It was nice to see we didn't fold when we were down by five in the first half, but it is disappointing to see us come up short again."
Junior Courtney Swan (Vero Beach, Fla.) had six points, with four goals and a pair of assists. Swan has scored at least a hat trick in all four games this season. Senior Maddy Keeshan (Greenwich, Ct.) also posted a hat trick with three goals.
Syracuse's Kayla Treanor scored five goals with two assists. Devon Collins scored four goals for the Orange.
Virginia grasped an early 1-0 lead when sophomore Mary Alati (Glen Ridge, N.J.) found the back of the net on an assist from senior Ashlee Warner (Corning, N.Y.), 1:04 into the contest. Syracuse was quick to answer tying the game 1:28 later on a Collins goal, starting the first of two Syracuse 4-0 runs in the period. Lisa Rogers capped the spurt with a goal on a helper from Kailah Kempney at 25:32, giving the Orange the 4-1 lead.
UVa cut its deficit to one goal, 5-4, via a 3-1 run by the Cavaliers. Junior Casey Bocklet (South Salem, N.Y.), Warner and Swan all scored for UVa during the run.
Syracuse and UVa traded goals to bring the score to 6-5 in advantage of the Orange. Bocklet's man-down goal at 16:20 was the closest UVa was able to get to Syracuse the rest of the game, as the Orange took their one-goal lead and expanded it by five goals, 10-5.
Swan scored twice for the Cavaliers before the intermission, bringing UVa within four goals, 11-7, heading into halftime. Keeshan scored 18 seconds into the second half on a Swan helper, cutting UVa's deficit to three goals, 11-8.
The scoring stayed even over the next several minutes and then UVa went on a 3-1 spurt, cutting Syracuse's lead down to 14-12. Alati, senior Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) and Swan all scored during the run, but it wasn't enough as Syracuse reeled off its third 4-0 run of the game to solidify its lead, 18-12. Keeshan scored twice for UVa to finish the game's scoring.
"When we won the draw, which we did a good job of, we were in good shape," said Myers. "But when we didn't win the draw, they went down and scored some pretty easy goals. Clearly our defense coming off of a lost draw needs to improve. It's nice to have something exact that we need to work on and things we can really train our players to do better with."
Syracuse won the battles of shots (34-32), ground balls (26-22) and fouls (29-2). UVa won the matchups in draw controls (19-15) and saves (9-7). Syracuse was efficient on free-position shots, going 2-of-3. Virginia struggled in the free-position shots category, going 3-of-11.
Virginia returns to action on Saturday when Penn State comes to Klöckner Stadium. The contest starts at noon.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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