Stephanie Harris scores first collegiate goal in senior day win over Cornell

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Right after the final whistle sounded, Stephanie Harris leaked out of her team’s celebratory huddle and jogged to the sideline, sliding on a pair of clunky headphones in front of reporters. For almost certainly the first time in Harris’s four-year career at SU, she was the unquestioned player of the game. Harris netted her first collegiate goal and had a hand in a second score. On senior day, in her final regular season game at J.S. Coyne Stadium, Harris not only started, but starred for Syracuse (11-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) in a 3-1 win over Cornell (9-6, 3-2 Ivy). She’s one of three Syracuse’s graduating players — including Sarah Luby and Claire Webb — who have helped the Orange secure a likely return to the NCAA tournament. “Best day of my life,” Harris said after the game. “Honestly.” Throughout this season, Harris has been in and out of SU’s backline rotation. She started two games early in the year when Webb dealt with an injury, but sat the past four games on the bench. Bradley said her inconsistent playing time is due to “matchups.” AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAgainst Cornell, though, Harris returned to the starting lineup, taking her place alongside Webb and sophomore SJ Quigley in the back. Almost immediately, SU got her involved in the offense. Three minutes into the match, Syracuse earned a penalty corner chance, and SU ran a play designed to get Harris a shot on net. Quigley inserted to Tess Queen, who slid a pass horizontally across the edge of the shooting circle. Midfielder Carolin Hoffmann, typically a main focus of penalty corner plays, faked a shot and let the ball roll to Harris, who blasted a shot on net. Though Harris’s shot was saved on that play, it earned the Orange a penalty stroke, which put SU up 1-0. Later in the first quarter, Syracuse ran that identical play again on a penalty corner, using Hoffmann as a decoy to create space for Harris. This time, when the ball rolled to Harris, she remembered thinking ‘Just hit it, don’t top it.’ So, she elevated a shot through a crowd and past Cornell’s goalie for her first career goal. “She’s been practicing that for a long time,” Webb said.SU installed that fake shot play for Harris on Saturday, one day before the Cornell game, SU head coach Ange Bradley said. Bradley noted that though Harris doesn’t typically factor in on penalty corners, she and Webb have good chemistry on the plays and Harris often works on her shot on the opposite end of J.S. Coyne during practice sessions. After the game, Bradley was surprised to learn that Harris had never scored before, and she congratulated her.Harris’s final statline on Sunday read 19 minutes, three shots — all on target — and one goal. Her defensive instincts and outletting skills helped SU control possession in the midfield and limit Cornell to three first half shot attempts.“Her impact on the field today was fantastic,” Bradley said. Led by Harris, SU took a 2-1 lead into halftime. But even with her strong production, Harris sat on the bench for most of the second half. At one point late in the third quarter, she handed a water bottle to midfielder Laura Graziosi, who had just come off the field with a green card. Syracuse’s other graduating players, Webb and Luby, also impacted Sunday’s senior day. Luby’s unassisted third quarter goal in which she split two defenders to put SU up 3-1 and Webb’s leadership in the back kept Cornell’s offense at bay. This group of seniors is the first class to join Syracuse after its national championship win in 2015. They helped Syracuse to the national quarterfinals as freshmen, but missed the national tournament for the first time since 2007 last year. Throughout their careers, SU’s seniors have made protecting their home field their mantra and a “staple” of the program’s culture, Webb said. Unless the Orange host a postseason game this year, Sunday’s win was the final time Webb, Luby and Harris defended their home pitch.“Coyne is such a special place to me,” Webb said. “It represents the current team, it represents all the women who’ve come before us and all the women who will come after us.” “We always work to protect it.” Comments Published on October 27, 2019 at 6:46 pm Contact Danny: | @DannyEmermanlast_img read more


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