Wyoming Area graduate Serra Degnan and the Syracuse University field hockey team captured the NCAA National Field Hockey Championship with a 4-2 win over North Carolina on Sunday.
The junior forward finished the season with three goals and four assists. The National Championship is the second in as many days for the Orange, which saw the men’s cross country team capture the National Championship on Saturday.
Syracuse got on the board early after Liz Sack drove baseline on the Tar Heel defense. She sent a pass out to Russell after drawing the goalkeeper. Russell buried the shot to give ‘Cuse the lead. The goal mounted her point total to 139 in her career, tying Martina Loncaria for the all-time program lead.
Russell’s goal came 8:30 into the game. Syracuse has scored in the first-10 minutes of each of the four NCAA Tournament games and five-of-six postseason games including the ACC Tournament.
Moments later, Alma Fenne took the ball into the circle on her own and fired a low-backhand shot into the lower right hand corner to up ‘Cuse’s lead to two.
The Tar Heels mounted a late push in the half, drawing a corner with 11 minutes remaining in the half, but Jess Jecko made a huge save after the ball had gotten behind her to keep Carolina off the board heading into the locker room.
North Carolina got on the board in the first-three minutes coming out of the break on a Gab Major deflection into the net, to tighten it to a one-goal game and nearly equalized it moments later, but Jecko again came up big for the Orange, stopping a point-blank shot to preserve the Orange lead.
However, with 14 minutes left to play, the Tar Heels’ Malin Evert broke through the ‘Cuse defense and tallied a shot into the upper-left corner past a sprawling Jecko, but the Orange wouldn’t let the momentum swing continue.
Zoe Wilson netted her first-career goal off a pass from Lies Lagerweij following an Orange corner to give the Orange the lead with inside of 12 minutes to go.
After North Carolina pulled its goalkeeper, Syracuse capitalized with Emma Lamison finishing a pass from Russell at the near post to go up two goals. Russell’s helper ended her career with 140 points, making her the all-time program leader in points.
Information provided by Syracuse University