Silicon cynics

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Seniors key Syracuse to victory over Connecticut in final game of regular season

first_imgIt was definitely senior day at J.S. Coyne Stadium on Saturday as Syracuse’s six seniors helped lead the team to its 36th straight victory at home.The senior class of Leann Stiver, Liz McInerney, Kelsey Millman, Amy Kee, Iona Holloway and Haley Bomboy was honored in a ceremony before the game on Saturday against No. 4 UConn that the Orange won 3-2.Playing in front of family and friends ignited McInerney and Millman, who scored a goal apiece. McInerney continued the show by helping out on the Orange’s second goal.The team relied on the composure of its seniors to guide it through difficult parts of the game.“It’s always like this when you play UConn; they’re a good team,” Millman said. “It’s a huge confidence boost for us going into the Big East tournament.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe team got off 14 shots in the first half, but the saves of the UConn goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield kept the score close. The SU players didn’t get rattled as they watched shots they would normally make veer to the side.Head coach Ange Bradley says the team just kept fighting and looked for different ways to get past the UConn defense.“I think we shot a lot of balls high and their goalie made a lot of really good saves in the first saves in the first half,” Bradley said. “We talked a little bit about adjusting our angles in the second half and I think that’s what broke it open.”The fight of the team and the seniors in particular is what makes Syracuse so dominant.The game was physical and tight throughout, but the senior class, with its level of experience, would not allow its team to falter.“Before the game I knew we were going to win,” Bradley said. “I didn’t know how it would go, if it would go to overtime or what, but the power of this senior class’ spirit, I just felt it would happen for us.”Bradley said the talent and poise of her seniors prevent her team from panicking in pressure situations.The crowd and atmosphere during the game was electrifying and the seniors enjoyed every minute of it.“This is why I play hockey,” McInerney said.One of the more dedicated and enthusiastic Syracuse fans is Mark Kuzio, the uncle of backup goalkeeper Jess Jecko. He was there well before the game, tailgating in the parking lot. He was also one of the last to leave.“I bleed Orange,” Kuzio said. “Division-I field hockey is a great sport and I love this team.”Kuzio is usually seen running up and down the bleachers dressed in orange and blue paraphernalia, waving his big Syracuse flag and leading the crowd in “defense” chants.He said it was special to him to be able to congratulate the team after the game and be present on the field during its celebration.“I was teared up, I was crying,” Kuzio said. “Me and my niece holding the Big East trophy, it’s big. It’s a big deal.”This senior class has learned a lot in its time with Bradley, and she feels the seniors have rubbed off on her too. Hesitant to say goodbye, but thrilled at all the seniors have accomplished, Bradley knows they have their sights set on the tournaments coming up.“I got chills thinking of them,” Bradley said. “They represent growth, maturity, forgiveness and belief.” Comments Published on October 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm Contact Jasmine: [email protected] Related Stories Syracuse defeats rival Connecticut in showdown to take Big East regular-season titlecenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more