FH : Pair of 2nd-half goals push Orange past feisty Albany in comeback win

first_imgHeather Susek had a chance to tie the game. Standing near the right side of the shooting circle, Susek charged Taylor Luke — the lone Albany defender in between her and the net — dribbling right, left and right again to beat the defender.As the ball rolled onto the end line following her last touch, Susek extended her arms fully to reach the ball just before it rolled out of bounds. She pulled the ball back in front of the net with a sweeping motion and knocked it past the diving Albany goalkeeper.‘I saw the goalie go down, so I kind of pulled around her,’ Susek said. ‘It was really close to going out of bounds. I thought they were going to call it out of bounds, but it ended up going in. So I was happy.’Susek’s goal tied the game and set the stage for more late-game heroics for the Orange. Kelsey Millman scored in the 65th minute, as Syracuse rallied back from a one-goal deficit to defeat Albany 3-2 in front of 177 spectators at J.S. Coyne Stadium on Wednesday. No. 5 Syracuse (10-2, 3-0 Big East) relied on two second-half goals to defeat an attack-minded Albany (8-5, 0-1 America East) squad ranked 16th in the nation.But to get the win, the Orange had to overcome the Great Danes’ questionable tactics on offense.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlbany’s backs appeared to be intentionally lifting their free hits to strike Susek and the SU forwards in their lower bodies throughout the game. SU’s players were beyond the required five yards away on a free hit, but the Albany backs were still aiming to hit them. The Great Danes were trying to intimidate the Orange to keep them from pressing.‘It was just getting really frustrating,’ Susek said. ‘We were getting hit basically throughout the whole game.’Susek got the chance to expel some of that frustration when she scored the game-tying goal, making the score 2-2 in the 46th minute.A span of nearly 20 scoreless minutes followed Susek’s goal. The game appeared to be headed for overtime with only seven minutes left on the clock and the score still deadlocked.Coming out of a timeout, Susek trotted to the Albany 25-yard line. Millman jogged farther right a couple of seconds later. As she passed Susek, their eyes caught one another’s and they tapped sticks.Soon after, Millman found the back of the net in the 65th minute.The play started when Nicole Nelson found midfielder Leonie Geyer on the left wing. Geyer utilized what Millman called ‘really good stick skills’ to beat her defender and get into the shooting circle. As the defense collapsed on Geyer, she spotted Millman 10 yards in front of the net, ready and waiting for the pass.‘The whole game they were focusing more on the person that was dribbling and less on the middle of the field,’ Millman said. ‘So once I got into the middle I was open, and then I could get the shot.’Geyer passed it off to her teammate, and Millman buried it into the bottom left corner to secure the victory for SU and keep its home winning streak intact.Millman said she has a mindset to finish games strong — a mentality that has paid off for her in late-game situations.Together Millman and Susek have combined for 17 goals this season and have played their best hockey with the game on the line.Head coach Ange Bradley credited the pair’s impressive production to a strong will to win and dedication to the team. For junior back Amy Kee, the offensive spark provided by Millman and Susek made the difference in the game.‘It’s a whole team effort, so it’s really that when the defense are having an off day, that we can really have that fire up front and get those goals in,’ Kee said.sebail01@syr.edu Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on October 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1last_img

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