The Syracuse women's ice hockey team fell in their season opener to No. 5 Clarkson 3-1 on Tuesday night at the Tennity Ice Pavilion.
Syracuse dug themselves into a hole early, allowing two power-play goals in the first period. Although the Orange were playing from behind, Head Coach Paul Flanagan said his team showed resilience.
"I thought we picked ourselves up and played hard," said Flanagan. "It would've been easy maybe to just lay back and fold a little bit, but I thought our kids really came back hard."
Down by two heading into the last period, Melissa Piacentini brought Syracuse within one after a wrap-around wrist-shot found its way into the back of the net. However, penalties prevented the Orange from getting any closer.
"We are still working on out systems and it's going to be a work in progress, the penalty kill, the power-play, and those types of things," said Flanagan.
Even though there is a tally in the loss column for Syracuse, this game does have the makings of a moral victory.
"It says we can hang with the best of them and that number one CHA ranking wasn't for nothing," said goaltender Jenn Gilligan. "We held our own for a lot of it and we even came back and gave them a run for their money."
Being able to hang around and play toe-to-toe with one of the top programs in the nation says a lot about the potential of this team moving forward.
"If that's the number five team in the country, as we speak, I think we can play better so we are capable of more," said Flanagan.
Flanagan and Orange will try to tap into that potential as they head on a four game road trip starting this Friday against No. 10 Northeastern.