Liz Sack scores 2 goals in Syracuse field hockey’s NCAA tournament win over Harvard
Ally Moreo | Asst. Photo Editor
Liz Sack sprinted down the right sideline with her stick in her right hand and her left hand pointing toward the edge of the arc. She faked continuing right and, with a swim move, sprinted directly into the arc.
Roos Weers sent a rocket of a pass into the arc from behind the midfield line. Sack dove to the ground with her stick out in front of her. The ball ricocheted off the stick and flew up in the air. Harvard goalkeeper Libby Manela punched the ball out with her glove.
Sack, still on her knees, put her stick in the air and batted the ball down in the direction of the goal. The ball bounced once, and slipped under the glove of Manela.
After it went in, Sack stayed on her knees, looking at the ball, and then looking upward, letting out a sigh of relief.
“I was already on my knees for some reason,” Sack said. “I just remember seeing the ball coming down at me and thinking if I don’t hit on this we’re missing a big opportunity.”
Sack’s goal was her second of the day as she led the Orange (15-3, 4-2) to a 5-1 victory against unseeded Harvard (12-6, 7-0 Ivy) in the first round of the NCAA tournament. SU will play Connecticut at 2 p.m. on Sunday at J.S. Coyne Stadium.
Sack, a senior forward, has recorded three multi-goal games in her career. All three have come in the NCAA tournament.
“To see her roll and actually execute what we practice was thrilling,” head coach Ange Bradley said.
Earlier in the game, after Syracuse paced ahead 2-1, Sack extended the Orange’s lead.
Claire Webb split the defense in Syracuse’s territory and passed the ball ahead to the left side of the midfield. Sack gathered the ball and turned over her right shoulder as defenders started to collapse. She shook the first defender with her spin move, and beat the second off of her first forward step.
Two more defenders started sprinting toward Sack, giving up their positions on the weak side. Sack split them and found herself one-on-one with Manela. Sack cut across the inner arc, and shot the ball on the strong side of Manela, sending it through her legs and into the back of the goal.
“I was looking to connect with Elaine,” Sack said. “But the opportunity was in front of me and just took it.”
Sack turned and immediately started making her way to midfield, where Laura Hurff was there to meet her for a hug. Three minutes later, Sack scored her second goal from her knees on the rebound from her dive and roll opportunity.
“I was so happy to see what she does in practice,” Bradley said. “We practice that at least 10 times a day.”
Sack came out of the game for the rest of the half, but when she started the second half, all eyes were on her.
“Let’s go Lizzie,” a fan yelled. “Hat-trick! Hat-trick!”
As the game wound to a close, fans were looking for Sack to get one more opportunity. In the closing 10 seconds, fans yelled to the players, eager to see Sack get one more shot at the goal.
Syracuse ran away with this game, 5-1, and did not allow a single shot in the second half.
With the remainder of the tournament coming up, Sack mapped out their season like a 2-kilometer run. Each lap of the race is a stage of their season.
“The fifth lap of the 2K is what we’re in right now,” Sack said. “It’s all your work coming together and finding out ‘Are you ready or are you not ready?’”
Published on November 12, 2016 at 3:41 pm
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