first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Late in the fourth quarter, Syracuse freshman back Olivia Graham found herself in enemy territory, making a run with the ball down the left sideline and into the shooting circle. She beat a Virginia defender, but UVA’s goalie, Lauren Hausheer, sprinted off her line and slide tackled Graham, sweeping her feet out from under her before she could shoot. Once she returned to her feet, Graham incredulously waved her hands at the ref, who didn’t blow his whistle.“I thought the call was gonna be a stroke because she didn’t touch the ball at all,” Graham said after the game. “In the moment I just really wanted to score.”On Friday evening, perhaps the biggest difference between No. 19 Syracuse (5-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) and No. 5 Virginia (6-1, 1-0) was the Cavaliers’ toughness. Graham’s late-game collision was just one of several examples of that. The shots on goals were even. So were the penalty corner opportunities. The ACC teams were locked in a 0-0 stalemate for 43 minutes, but Virginia fought harder for loose balls, shut off Syracuse’s offensive runs with authority and wore down the Orange to score two second half goals and win 2-0.“We just have to, like, stay in the game and focus on ourselves again,” midfielder Carolin Hoffmann said, “If a team plays physical, we (need to) make it to our advantage.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEarlier in the game, in the third quarter, Hoffmann intercepted a pass in the midfield and started a counter-attack. But the Orange weren’t able to develop a rush, because Virginia’s Rachel Robinson body-checked Hoffmann off the ball, leading to a brief verbal confrontation and a yellow card.At another point, a UVA midfielder tripped up SU junior Claire Cooke. After the foul, Cooke tried to restart the play, but the UVA defender got in her way and blocked her path, which angered Cooke, Bradley and the rest of the Syracuse bench. From the bleachers, a fan called the officiating a “circus.”In total, the Cavaliers’ physical brand of field hockey earned them six cards — two yellows and four greens — to SU’s one. The cards caused the Cavaliers to play almost the entire fourth quarter with a one-player disadvantage. Typically, Bradley wants her team to “amp up pressure” when it has an advantage, and place a forward close to the net for scoring opportunities. But Syracuse couldn’t capitalize, which Bradley blamed on the team’s “immaturity.”“And that’s on me as a coach,” Bradley said. “With the cards, I think we just got a little chaotic and didn’t realize that’s an advantage for us.”Even though Virginia’s physical play gave Syracuse trouble, SU controlled most of the game. At the end of the third quarter, Syracuse had out-shot UVA nine to four. Bradley said Syracuse dominated statistically. But Virginia’s penalty corner goal late in the third quarter, and another two minutes into the fourth, put the Cavaliers on top.Virginia’s physicality caught up to Syracuse when it fell behind and tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter. SU registered just one shot in the fourth quarter despite three Virginia cards.After the final buzzer sounded, forward Chiara Gutsche dropped her stick and bent over near midfield, placing her hands on her knees. After a few seconds, she gingerly limped to the team huddle. Gutsche was physically and emotionally defeated, just as the scoreboard indicated. Comments Published on September 20, 2019 at 9:17 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmermanlast_img read more