UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the second time in program history, Syracuse field hockey (19-2) is heading to the Final Four after defeating Penn State (18-4), 5-2, in the NCAA quarterfinals at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex on Sunday.
The Orange will play No. 1 North Carolina (22-1) in the national semifinals on Nov. 16 in Norfolk, Va. No. 2 Princeton (18-1) and No. 6 Maryland (18-5) meet in the other semifinal.
Jordan Page scored two goals to lead the offense, while the defense, led by Leann Stiver 's season-high 13 saves, fought off 15 Nittany Lion penalty corners, 11 of which came in the second half.
"I'm just so proud for this team collectively and these seniors," head coach Ange Bradley said. "This is their moment. They listened to a gameplan, they executed, and they wanted something. They played so inspired today." Syracuse advances to its second Final Four in program history, both coming under the leadership of Bradley, now in her sixth season.
The other appearance came in 2008 and this is the first time the Orange has ever won two games in the NCAA Tournament away from home. The Orange took control early, scoring the first half's only two goals. Gillian Pinder struck first in the 19th minute, driving home a rebound for her 10th of the year, followed by Page's goal off an Emma Russell assist with 4:52 left in the half. The Nittany Lions came out strong in the second half, drawing nine penalty corners in the first 20 minutes, with Whitney Reddig making it a 2-1 game with her fifth of the season with 18:54 to go. Liz McInerney struck back for the Orange just over two minutes later, scoring her seventh of the season off a pass fromAlyssa Manley, making it 3-1 with 16:42 left. Page then tacked on her second of the game and eighth of the season with 14:37 left off an assist from McInerney, making it 4-2. Iona Holloway removed all doubt with 5:46 to go, knocking in the rebound of a Kelsey Millman shot for the back's second of the season, giving Syracuse a 5-1 lead. Reddig scored her second of the game and sixth of the season for Penn State with 2:24 to go, before the Orange killed off the remaining time to win, 5-2.
Courtesy: SU Athletics