Freshmen contribute to 4-1 season-opening SU win over Vermont

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ No one was standing in the cage when Syracuse forward Chiara Gutsche dived, whacking the ball with her stick as she tumbled down. As the sophomore landed on her left arm, the ball hit the back of the net, scoring the game’s final goal.That goal wouldn’t have happened, SU head coach Ange Bradley said, without the movement from freshman forward Kira Wimbert. Wimbert ran through a window, crossed the field and got the ball. She diverted the ball’s course, turning it around toward Gutsche and passed from the other side of the circle to lead to the goal.Eight freshmen received playing time in the field hockey season opener on Friday afternoon at J.S. Coyne Stadium. The contributions — playing a hand in each of SU’s four goals — led to a 4-1 SU win over Vermont.“They won. That’s a big thing,” Bradley said. “They won their first game. Doing something for the first time together is not easy, so I’m really pleased with that, but we have a long way to go.”This year ties the 2008 season for the fewest number of upperclassmen on the roster (5) in the Ange Bradley era. As a young team, SU needed its freshmen to step up. So they did. Two goals were scored by freshmen, and the other two goals were assisted by first-year players.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWimbert was on the field for less than 5 minutes when she scored her first goal. A blocked shot rebounded in her direction and she was ready.“It was amazing,” Wimbert said. “Our coach always tells us to have our stick down in the circle and I had my stick down, and I put it right in. It felt great.”Despite the youth of the team accounting for five of SU’s six points, Bradley also cited the team’s youth when she said the team needed to be faster, put more pressure on the ball and read the field better.SU was just two for nine from corner attempts, and both successful opportunities came in the first half.“Right now, with having inexperience, they’re not seeing it as quick,” Bradley said.Laura Graziosi’s goal came when Carolin Hoffmann sent the ball Graziosi’s way on a corner attempt. Graziosi was at the top of the circle when she shot, and the echoing thud at the back of the net gave SU a 2-1 lead. Hoffmann took another shot off the corner minutes later and sent the ball to freshman Tess Queen. Queen stopped the ball and passed it a short distance to junior Roos Weers. Weers sent the ball flying into the cage and gave SU a two-goal lead going into the half.Weers was the only upperclassman in the box score for SU.Vermont’s only goal came in the first half off a penalty shot. Vermont sophomore Sydney Melfi lined up in front of SU goalie Borg van der Velde and shot, sending the ball past the sophomore goalkeeper. In total, van der Velde had four saves, two in the first half and two in the second.SU shut down Vermont in the second half, not letting any shots near the goal, and Vermont didn’t have success from the corner.“It’s a young group,” Weers said, “but we have a lot of potential and I’m so excited to see where we can go.” Published on August 24, 2018 at 5:46 pm Contact Kaci: klwasile@syr.edulast_img

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