first_img Published on September 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm Contact Ryan: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Laura Hurff could not believe what had just happened. The ball she had just shot went into the net, but her first career goal felt too surreal to be true.The freshman netted the first score of the game, leading a youth-infused No. 10 Syracuse (7-3, 0-3 Atlantic Coast) to a 6-2 win over Hofstra (7-4) in front of 324 fans at J.S. Coyne Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Of the Orange’s six goals, the first four were scored by freshmen as SU snapped a streak of three consecutive losses against ranked ACC opponents.Soon after Hurff’s goal, fellow freshmen Annalena Ulbrich and Lieke Visser scored. Visser added another goal in the second half, while Ulbrich recorded an assist on two of the team’s three second-half goals.The type of field hockey the team displayed on Sunday is exactly what the team has been working on in practice, according to head coach Ange Bradley.“Our upperclassmen moved the ball and our freshman were able to follow and just reshape,” Bradley said. “We’ve been working a lot on link-up hockey. It was nice to see them be able to execute that.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Hurff’s goal, the SU offense kept putting pressure on the Pride. On a penalty corner, Ulbrich scored from just inside the circle, with the assists going to Jordan Page and Visser.Though Hofstra answered with a score a little less than two minutes later to make it 2-1, the Orange responded as Visser scored off a corner a little more than 25 minutes into the period.The freshman’s production didn’t stop in the second half. A little more than four minutes into the second period, Ulbrich found Visser wide open on the left side of the goal for an easy put-in. “Now after a few games, we are more a team and everybody fits in it,” Visser said. “We can find each other better right now.”Ulbrich assisted on another goal about seven minutes later when she found Alyssa Manley for a goal off of a corner.Visser believes that experience and game repetition have made it easier for the Orange to work together, especially for young players like her. The confidence the upperclassmen have shown in the freshman class as it has developed helped lead to the performance from them Sunday, Hurff said.“They all believe in each other and they believe in the freshmen even though it is our first year,” Hurff said of SU’s upperclassmen. “They do believe in our talent so that really helps us to play to our best ability.”The Orange hopes the freshmen’s breakout performances Sunday could be a sign the team is turning itself around. With an 0-3 record in the most difficult conference in field hockey, the team could use more contributions from its freshmen if it hopes to qualify for the ACC tournament in November.“In the ACC, we haven’t been as aggressive in the first month, with a lot of younger kids, the uncertainty,” Bradley said. “Now, we come out, we get a couple of yellow cards, but that’s the aggressiveness you need to play with to play and be a viable competitor within our league. It’s pretty much kill or be killed.” Commentslast_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *