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Syracuse Field Hockey and Cross Country start NCAA competition

The teams will be in action today

2018 NCAA Division II Women’s Field Hockey Championship Photo by Steve Nowland/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Today the Syracuse Orange field hockey and cross country teams start off their NCAA post-season competition.

Cross Country will have to adjust to a change in location as the weather in Buffalo has turned the NCAA Northeast Regional from a cross-country race to a road race on the University of Buffalo’s campus.

This is less than ideal for the athletes who must find the right equipment (racing flats instead of spikes) and deal with a much different event. It’s also increasing the risk of injury just eight days before the NCAA Championship so expect the coaches to fight any future return trips to Buffalo for the Northeast Regionals.

This is a bigger race for the Syracuse women as they try to get a team back to NCAAs for the first time since 2017. Led by Amanda Vestri the Syracuse squad will be battling #21 ranked Columbia Lions, Harvard Crimson and Boston College Eagles for the two automatic qualifying spots. The women’s race begins at 11:00am and you can follow live results here.

The Syracuse men were looking at this meet as a match-up with the Iona Gaels for the top spot. The #18 Orange have held off the #8 Gaels the last six seasons but Iona comes into the meet as the slight favorite. Typically Syracuse and Iona can cruise through qualifying but the Army Black Knights and Stony Brook Seawolves are expected to provide a stronger challenge for the top two places. A younger Syracuse team will lean on the 10k experience of Joe Dragon, Kevin James and Dom Hockenbury as they look to return to Terre Haute. The men’s race will start at Noon and results are available at the above link.

The #13 Orange field hockey team will be in Storrs, Ct to play the Princeton Tigers at 2:30. The winner will advance to play the winner of the Fairfield Stags- Connecticut Huskies game. Syracuse enters the game with a 12-6 record while Princeton is 13-4. The Tigers are led by First Team All-Ivy player Clara Roth who has 14 goals and 38 points on the season.

Syracuse has won seven straight over the Tigers and will be looking for All-ACC First Team players Charlotte de Vries and Carolin Hoffman to help them advance.