Orange defense thrives off pressure, turnovers in 22-8 win over Virginia Tech

first_img Published on April 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+ Virginia Tech’s Cawley Bromley lifted one hand off her stick, spun around and dropped her head back. She jogged up the field after she couldn’t catch a pass and watched it trickle out of bounds. She walked back to her spot near the 50-yard line and stood next to Syracuse’s Kelsey Youmell.On the next Syracuse possession, the Orange scored its 22nd goal of the game.It was a sequence that happened all afternoon for the Hokies: A turnover, followed by an SU goal.“(I) thought we were aggressive,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said, “caused a lot of good turnovers, got the ball back and happy with the outcome today.”The No. 7 Orange (9-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) defeated Virginia Tech (6-8, 0-5) 22-8 on Saturday in the Carrier Dome thanks in part to a strong defensive performance that led to seven goals off turnovers. It was just the third game this season that SU held its opponents to fewer than 10 goals.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse face-guarded VT’s Megan Will, who ranks ninth in the country in goals, throughout the game. After using a pressure zone defense in the first half, Gait incorporated some man-to-man in the second half, holding the Hokies to just three second-half goals.“Obviously that throws a little bit of a wrench in your plan,” Virginia Tech head coach Megan Burker said of the mid-game adjustment, “but I thought our offense did a nice job of handling it. We just didn’t convert the way that we wanted to on our shots.”Due to the Orange’s pressure, none of VT’s first seven goals were assisted and most came in unsettled situations when shooters were one-on-one with SU goalie Kelsey Richardson.But in more typical offensive sets, the Hokies repeatedly threw the ball away. And while Virginia Tech took 28 shots, only 14 of them were on goal, a testament to the defense’s performance, Richardson said.“Our defense is really coming along and really working out all of our kinks,” Richardson said, “and I think each game we get better and I think it’s going to be really, really effective come the ACC tournament and farther in the postseason.“We’re peaking at the right time.” Commentslast_img

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