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STORRS, Conn. - No. 1 seed Syracuse defeated No. 4 seed Rutgers 4-1 today in the first semifinal match-up of the 2010 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship on the University of Connecticut campus at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex.
Syracuse jumped ahead early as junior forward Heather Susek dribbled deep into the circle to score unassisted in the 15th minute. The Orange struck again in the 32nd minute, going up 2-0. Senior forward Lindsey Conrad netted her seventh goal of the 2010 campaign, drilling a cross pass deep in the circle from freshman back Laura Hahnefeldt inside the far post.
Early in the second period, SU extended its lead to 3-0 as Susek registered her second goal of the contest and ninth overall this season. Rutgers answered back during the 58th minute as junior forward Nicole Gentile recorded her team's lone goal unassisted from deep in the circle. In the 66th minute, Syracuse sophomore forward Kelsey Millman scored her second goal this season off of a rebound, giving the Orange a 4-1 advantage and putting things out of reach for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers totaled five team saves with freshman goalkeeper Sarah Stuby accounting for four in a complete game effort. In the cage for SU, sophomore Leann Stiver allowed one goal, while saving five over 70 minutes of play. The Orange defense allowed nine shots, while the Scarlet Knights gave up 13 shots. Rutgers registered three penalty shots, while Syracuse had five.
The loss ends Rutgers' season, posting an 8-12 overall record after going 2-4 in conference play. This was the first BIG EAST Championship appearance since 2003 for the Scarlet Knights. They fall to 1-5 in overall tournament play.
Syracuse advances to the BIG EAST Championship final for the eighth time in program history. SU holds a 13-15 record in tournament play with 20 appearances. The Orange battles for its fifth BIG EAST Championship title tomorrow at 1 p.m. squaring off with the winner of the No. 2 seed Louisville and No. 3 seed Connecticut semifinal match-up today at 1:30 p.m.
All BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship action, including live stats, free live streaming, recaps, highlights and box scores will be available through Championship Central at www.bigeast.org.