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Early Goals Lead No. 1 Syracuse to Win Over Yale

Heather Schlesier. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Heather Schlesier. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Blanks Orange in Second Half

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – No. 1 Syracuse scored five times in the first half Sunday afternoon at Coyne Stadium, and despite shutting out the Orange in the second half the Yale field hockey team was unable to make a comeback. Syracuse remained unbeaten with the 5-0 win.

"In the first half, we made some errors that resulted in some goals," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "Holding the best team in the nation scoreless in the second half was an outstanding accomplishment, and we had some more scoring opportunities of our own."

Yale (3-6, 1-2 Ivy League) was coming off a 1-0 overtime loss to Cornell in Ivy League play Saturday, while Syracuse (11-0, 2-0 Big East) was riding the momentum of three straight shutout wins -- including one over the Bulldogs' Ivy League rival, No. 3 Princeton. Earlier in the week the Orange rose from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll for the second time in program history and the first time since 2008.

"Some of the things we discussed after the Cornell game, and some of the adjustments we needed to make moving forward, got accomplished in this game," said Stuper. "Even though the result does not show it, we got better today."

Forward Emma Russell started the scoring at 8:09, putting in a crossing pass from the right side of the circle by midfielder Liz McInerney. Four minutes later, McInerney set up midfielder Gillian Pinder for the Orange's second goal. McInerney, a first team All-American last year, then scored a goal of her own at 14:54 on a corner.

That was one of 13 penalty corners on the day for Syracuse, but the Bulldogs were largely able to keep that unit in check.

"[Junior midfielder] Erica Borgo did a great job flying out, and everyone else did a good job picking up sticks," said Stuper.

Another goal by Pinder, then one by midfielder Jordan Page, made the score 5-0.

Sophomore goalkeeper Heather Schlesier came on in relief of junior goalkeeper Emily Cain for the second half. Both finished with four saves.

"Heather made some good saves, and our defense also did a better job of making sure that there weren't as many second chances for Syracuse in the second half," said Stuper.

Syracuse's Leann Stiver got the shutout, her seventh of the season, and extended her scoreless streak to 311 minutes.

The Bulldogs play at No. 7 Virginia Saturday at Noon. The Cavaliers improved to 11-2 on the season by getting their sixth straight win Sunday, beating Saint Joseph's 6-3 in Charlottesville.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity