No. 3 Syracuse executes on late penalty corners to beat No. 2 North Carolina

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm Contact Liam: [email protected] With just over four minutes left in the second half, North Carolina huddled at the top of the circle, preparing for its upcoming penalty corner. With the score locked at 2-2 and North Carolina controlling possession over the previous five minutes, Syracuse needed to find a way to clear the ball from its defensive zone.UNC stacked nearly all of its players at the top of the circle, and the insertion from North Carolina’s Gab Major bounced before reaching Emily Wold at the top of the circle and squirted away.The Orange defense jumped at the miscue and Alyssa Manley pushed the ball quickly up the field to forward Emma Lamison. She passed on the run to forward Emma Russell, who fired home an easy goal to take advantage of North Carolina’s penalty corner formation.“We had a good counter shape set up and our defenders did really well on their corners today and they managed to get it out,” Russell said. “When we have a lot of space, that’s what we love and it was really good to get the finish on that today.Logan Reidsma | Photo EditorRussell’s goal was the decisive shot in a 4-2 win for No. 3 Syracuse (5-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) over No. 2 North Carolina (4-1, 0-1 ACC) at J.S. Coyne Stadium on Saturday afternoon. After getting off to a slow start and staring with a 2-0 halftime deficit, the Orange scored four unanswered second-half goals off penalty corners on either side of the ball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse managed to get only one shot off in the first half, but involved its midfielders more after halftime to continue forcing the ball into North Carolina’s zone. The Orange only created eight shots on goal in the second half, but forced five penalty corners to fashion other offensive opportunities late in the game.“What we want to do is if we can’t get a shot on goal is to get a corner,” SU head coach Ange Bradley said. “It’s like a free-throw in basketball, per say.”After SU’s first second-half penalty corner try was turned away, the Orange broke through on the second chance it had. Russell passed the ball on the insertion to forward Serra Degnan, who swept a short pass to a charging Roos Weers.Weers wound her stick back and fired a rocket into the back of the cage. Syracuse was on the board ten minutes into the second half.“We have a lot of good attackers who create those opportunities for us,” Weers said. “Then it’s just about what we practiced.”SU executed its ensuing penalty corner seven minutes later a bit differently. Instead of Weers firing from the top of the circle like she had on her goal, she took a pass from Degnan and moved a few feet inside the circle before launching another shot.Weers’ shot ricocheted off the left leg of UNC’s goalkeeper and midfielder Laura Hurff sniffed out the rebound and scored to tie the game.“It doesn’t matter how it ends up going in, just that it does,” Weers said.Logan Reidsma | Photo EditorBradley saw her team open up the field and refuse to drop quickly into a defensive set like it did in the first half. Both teams play quickly and use speed to push offensively, but Syracuse emphasized more midfield play in the second half to control possession and dictate tempo.Following Russell’s late goal on the botched North Carolina penalty corner, the Tar Heels pulled goalkeeper Shannon Johnson in favor of an additional attacker.SU remained in control despite the UNC’s extra player, and found itself once again in the offensive zone. Lies Lagerweij let loose a backhand shot a few feet inside the circle to give Syracuse an insurance goal that after trailing all game, finally allowed Syracuse an opportunity to relax.“We’re right on track (with penalty corners) and in our debrief, that’ll definitely be something I talk about and reward them about,” Bradley said. “It was well-done.” Commentslast_img

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