The field hockey team asserted itself as a premier team Sunday, with a 1-0 road victory over No. 20 Syracuse at J.S. Coyne Stadium. The win marked the first time the Owls (4-2) had knocked off a nationally-
ranked opponent since 2002, when they defeated No. 16 Delaware, 3-2, in overtime. They also handed the Orange (5-1) their first defeat.
“It means a ton to our team and it finally is a tangible sign that we are much better than last year,” third-year coach Amanda Janney said. “The girls have been working hard all year, but we haven’t been able to get over that hump [until now].”
The Owls shut down the Orange offense with a mixture of sound defense and united play. Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Hanshue posted her first shutout of the season while accumulating eight saves.
Senior Alli Lokey provided the offensive spark during the 53rd minute, notching a goal off a penalty corner to end the scoreless deadlock. Senior Leanne Vogelsong and sophomore Charise Young added assists on the play. The game was essentially a defensive struggle, but the Owls added pressure to the Syracuse defense with five penalty corners, netting one of them.
The Owls managed 12 shots while holding the Orange to eight.The Owls are in the midst of a three-game road trip that began with a 2-1 loss at Albany on Friday. They will try to top another nationally-ranked team Wednesday, when they take on No. 6 Penn State in State College, Pa. The teams last faced each other in 2005, when Penn State won, 5-0, at Geasey Field.
Later this season, the Owls embark to College Park, Md., to face the Terrapins, currently ranked No. 1. The Owls almost upset the No. 1 Terps last season, losing 2-1.
Anthony Stipa can be reached at email@example.com.