The Syracuse Orange field hockey team's quest for their first national title is still alive and well. After beating Penn State 3-1 on Sunday at J.S. Coyne Stadium in Syracuse, the Orange advanced to their third Final Four in program history and are two wins away from reaching national supremacy.
The fourth-ranked Orange dominated the game against the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions, starting off with a Emma Russell goal less than six minutes into the game. Lauren Brooks and Lies Lagerweij both found also found the back of the net in the first half for the Orange, giving them a 3-0 lead heading into the intermission. Despite not scoring in the second half, the Orange held the Nittany Lions without a goal until the 69th minute of the game, just a minute shy of a shutout.
The goal, however, did not matter and the Orange were able to advance. They had 18 shots on goal while junior goalie Jess Jecko saved seven opponent shots. The win is the second for the Orange in the tournament, who beat Boston University on Saturday. They entered the tournament on a one-game losing streak after falling to Wake Forest in the ACC title game on November 9th.
The Final Four will take place on Saturday November 21st in College Park, Md. The Orange will be against ACC foe North Carolina, who advanced on Sunday after beating another ACC team, Duke. The Tar Heels are the number one team in the nation. The two teams split both of their meetings early in the season, the Tar Heels shutting out the Orange 3-0 in a September game in Chapel Hill. The Orange got their revenge in the semifinals of the conference tournament, winning 3-2 in overtime. The other national semifinal features unranked Albany against third-ranked Connecticut.