Syracuse finishes nonconference schedule winless after 5-2 loss to No. 6 Cornell

first_imgEmma Polaski cut into the offensive zone with Abby Moloughney to her left with the puck on a 2-on-1. As the defense shaded too far toward her, Moloughney flipped a pass to Polaski in the slot. Syracuse’s leading scorer had space and capitalized, firing the puck home between the goalie’s pad and blocker.The goal gave the Orange a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Cornell wasn’t rattled. SU head coach Paul Flanagan said his team caught the Big Red sleeping, but following the second goal, they woke up.No. 6 Cornell (14-2-5, 11-2-1 ECAC) fired back with five unanswered goals, and Syracuse (6-18-2, 6-5-1 College Hockey America) fell, 5-2, to another ranked opponent in its last nonconference game of the regular season, dropping its record in such matchups to 0-13-1. The Orange also lost their ninth-straight game to a ranked opponent, and they have been outscored 47-13 in those nine contests. SU’s last win outside of CHA came on Oct. 13, 2017, against Providence.At first, Tuesday night started differently. In warm ups, Brooke Avery flapped her arms to a remix of “Breaking Free” from High School Musical. While gliding around the Syracuse half, she rolled her neck, keeping loose. The Orange had “nothing to lose,” Lauren Bellefontaine said, and they capitalized on that mentality early.In the first period, Bellefontaine dropped the puck off for Allie Munroe at the hashmark, and the senior defender circled the net with it. She then threw the puck in front, and it bounced off Anonda Hoppner and in. Polaski extended the lead a little over four minutes later with her 2-on-1 strike.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We were really pumped to get the lead and were like, ‘We can do this,’” Bellefontaine said.Cornell responded just over a minute later through Grace Graham. SU goalie Allison Small got a piece of Graham’s slot one-timer along the ice, but it wasn’t enough to keep the puck out.Victoria Klimek had a breakaway chance to extend the lead in the second, but the Big Red tied the score with the frame’s only goal. A deflected wrist shot from the point gave Small no chance. Cornell then took its first lead of the night a little more than five minutes into the third with another wrister from the blue line.Talia Trackim | Digital Design DirectorLater in the third, Cornell deflated the Orange with a fourth-straight goal. Small thought she covered the puck, but it slipped in front for Micah Zandee-Hart to rocket home. The Big Red scored one more on a breakaway, as Amy Curlew went five-hole after a forehand-backhand move.“After they got a few goals, we held back a little,” Bellefontaine said. “We were playing scared.”Tuesday was not the first time Syracuse has blown a lead, and its inability to play a full 60 minutes haunted it again. Against RIT on Nov. 16, the Orange lost 6-4 after leading 4-2 going into the third. The Orange played even with Cornell for the first 40 minutes, at times outplaying a team with multiple former national U-18 players. But in the third, a combination of mental and physical downfalls allowed Cornell to take over.Stretch passes up the middle, a play Cornell continuously used, started opening up. Syracuse players became lazy in the defensive zone. And on Cornell’s power play goal, they didn’t react properly, Flanagan said.Avery and Hoppner credited the loss to a mental block. Syracuse lost confidence in the third period, they both said. Avery added that the Orange don’t react well to goals against them. It’s hindered them all season, and Tuesday night was no different.“We need to figure out how to play comfortably with a lead and not get so wound up if they score,” Avery said. Published on January 29, 2019 at 11:08 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *