It’s never great to see a back-and-forth game end on a whistle, but that’s exactly what happened when Syracuse field hockey ended a thrilling double overtime game against Boston College on a penalty stroke nearly 72 minutes into the match. The Eagles were called for interfering with shooting space, setting up the Syracuse goal.
Eefke van den Nieuwenhof led No. 10 Syracuse (8–2, 1–2 Atlantic Coast) past No. 12 BC (6–4, 1–2) with the game-winning goal to win 3–2 despite nine saves from goalkeeper Caroline Kelly and a clutch Margo Carlin equalizer late in regulation.
The wet turf in Newton, Mass., seemed to be a factor all game, as many passes from both squads skipped past its targets and went out of bounds. As a result, most of the first frame was played in the midfield, with no one able to create dangerous scoring chances.
This changed, however, with 1:36 left in the first period when Syracuse drew a penalty corner, the first of the game for either team. But Kelly came up big and kept the game scoreless, injecting momentum into BC going the other way.
Just 44 seconds later, the Eagles drew a penalty corner of their own, receiving the ball into a dangerous area and drawing their second penalty corner of the game. Mia Garber found the ball at the top of the zone and fired it in, deflecting past Syracuse goalkeeper Brooke Borzymowski to give the Eagles a 1–0 going into the second quarter.
But the Orange tied it up in a very similar fashion six minutes into the second period, drawing a penalty corner. After a few quick passes, Cato Schreinemacher received the ball at the near post and fired it across the net to tie the game, a clinical finish that Kelly could do little about.
Syracuse came out of halftime and dominated, culminating in Olivia Bell putting one past Kelly to give Syracuse its first lead of the game at the 6:50 mark in regulation.
That lead looked as though it would hold for the rest of the game, but BC managed to switch the momentum after emptying its net with 2:48 left in the game.
With Kelly on the sidelines, the Eagles drew a penalty corner and were able to convert for the second time in the game, as captain Carlin fired one home to send the game to overtime tied at two and bring Kelly back out to her net. It marked Carlin’s sixth-straight game with a goal.
The best chance in the first overtime period came when Kara Heck snuck open in front of the Syracuse net, but the ball skipped over her stick and rolled harmlessly out of bounds.
It all came crashing down when Nieuwenhof put the game away on a penalty stroke for the Orange 1:55 into the second overtime period, deflating the Eagles on the sidelines.
Penalties killed BC all game, as two of Syracuse’s goals were scored on the penalty stroke.