Friday, the defending national champion Syracuse Orange field hockey squad did something they haven’t done since November 8, 2015. They lost.
The No. 1 Orange dropped their first game of the 2016 season in a 3-2 heartbreaker to the North Carolina Tar Heels. The barnburner took two overtimes and almost 90 minutes to settle out but the Heels eventually eked out the game-winner. Incidentally, UNC was the last team SU lost to as well.
No rest for the weary, however, as the Orange needed to regroup for a Sunday showdown against Penn. Regroup they did in a 4-0 thrashing of the Quakers. Laura Hurff led the team with two goals and an assist, while Annalena Ulbrich added a goal and two assists.
When the dust settled, the Orange were No. 4 in the new NFHCA Poll. UConn took over the No. 1 spot, beating out North Carolina by one point. Duke is third, followed by SU and then Penn State to finish the top five.
Syracuse will have their hands full with No. 7 Louisville on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra. SU then travels to Bucknell on Sunday.
For those keeping track, Lies Lagerweij leads the Orange with eight goals on the season. Roos Weers and Elaine Carey each have 14 total points each behind Lies’ 17 points. Weers and Ulbrich lead the squad with six assists apiece.