Syracuse uses 2nd-half offensive surge in 5-0 win over Monmouth

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first_imgThe sharp pass skipped hard over the turf, and seemed to be headed out of bounds across the end line until it found Liz Sack’s outstretched stick.Sack dove, fully extending her 5 feet 7 inches. The goalkeeper, who had stepped up seemingly to intercept the ball, turned her head and flinched.  Sack pushed the deflection sailing over the goalie’s right shoulder and down into the net.Sack’s goal increased its lead to 3-0 and gave Syracuse room to breathe. Before her play with 17:03 left in the game, the Orange had 20 shots and just two goals to show for it.“It was nice to add a cushion,” Sack said. “That let us … play with more control.”Syracuse, which has been a second-half team all season, struggled mightily in the first half and still had trouble finding an offensive spark for the majority of the second. But on a cold, windy day at J.S. Coyne Stadium, the No. 2 Orange (10-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) attacked enough times to eventually breakthrough for a 5-0 victory over Monmouth (3-8). The Orange generated 29 shots and 12 penalty corners, but struggled to finish early on. The low shooting percentage led head coach Ange Bradley to shuffle up her starting lineup in the second half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The starting group wasn’t getting it done,” Bradley said. Emma Russell, Alma Fenne and Emma Lamison— responsible for nearly 50 percent of the Orange’s goals this season — stood on the sidelines near the bench, watching as play resumed.The Orange started Sack, freshman Emma Tufts and sophomore Caroline Cady instead.“That’s what competition breeds and people have to step up and play a little differently,” Bradley said.Until Sack’s goal, the new line didn’t fix Syracuse’s problems.The Orange would force a turnover near midfield or near its own zone, push up the field, attack from the sideline in and get a shot or force a penalty corner. Then, Monmouth goalie Christen Piersanti either made an impressive diving save, usually with her blocker, or the Orange’s shot would roll just wide, usually left.There were frustrations on the field as Syracuse’s struggles continued.Late in the first half, back Zoe Wilson tried to reverse the ball and send it up the field to Fenne, but as Wilson ran away from her defender and tried to create a better angle, Fenne ran up and toward the defense.“Stop running away from me!” Wilson shouted through her mouth guard before the pass was intercepted.On penalty corners, Monmouth rushed out of the net in time to block the Orange’s shot either with a stick or a leg. If it led to another penalty corner, Monmouth fought that off too.Syracuse converted just two of 12 corner chances.“We had a lot of shots that just missed, like, 10 centimeters by the post,” Roos Weers said. “These are always really difficult games. You go into the game knowing in the back of your head that you’re maybe a little bit better than the opposition.”Rarely was the ball in Syracuse’s defensive third and even then the Orange cleared the ball with ease. SU allowed just one corner. Monmouth didn’t manage a shot — its only shot of the game — until 41:43. Syracuse goalie Jess Jecko dismissed the ball with a kick.Though the Orange’s offense played ineffectively for most of the contest, just having possession seemed enough to stop the Hawks.“In those type of games you’d like to get up a goal in the first half so you can choose when to attack,” Russell said. “It was frustrating at times but we didn’t let it affect our play.“The main thing is that we got the win.” Comments Published on October 2, 2015 at 8:29 pm Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more