The ACC-leading Cavaliers have now won seven-straight games, including victories over three top-10 squads in their last three games.
Freshman midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) added to her conference-leading point total by scoring a pair of goals. Sophomore midfielder Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England) scored Virginia’s third goal and also had an assist.
“The game was endline to endline and was really the story of two very different halves for us,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “Our press worked really well against them in the first half. In the second half, they made some adjustments and it took us awhile to be able to counter it, which gave them some good scoring opportunities. It was a great performance in the goal by Jenny Johnstone and the whole back line. Syracuse is a great team and this was a great battle. I am really proud of the entire team.”
Johnstone, a native of Paisley, Scotland, made ten saves. Syracuse’s Jess Jecko made five saves.
Virginia dominated the first half, taking 14 shots to Syracuse’s four. The statistical advantage flipped in the second half with the Orange taking 13 shots to Virginia’s three.
Vittese gave Virginia a 2-0 lead early in the game. Six minutes into the contest, Hyams took a shot from the top of the circle that was headed wide of the net. Vittese stuck her stick up into the air and deflected the ball into the goal. Two minutes later, Vittese penetrated into the circle, dribbled around a couple of defenders as she looked for a passing lane. After not finding any open teammates, she fired a shot into the net to score her eighth goal of the season.
Four minutes into the second half, sophomore striker Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) earned her first assist of the season, firing a pass from the right of the goal into the circle to Hyams. Hyams beat a defender and fired in a shot to give UVa its 3-0 lead.
Syracuse’s Lieke Visser scored the Orange’s lone goal with 16:06 remaining in the game. Visser got out ahead of the pack, facing down Johnstone one-on-one, and firing off a shot past the Virginia senior goalkeeper.
Virginia will close out its current three-game home stand on Sunday, Sept. 28 by hosting Vermont (0-7) at 1 p.m.at Turf Field. The Cavaliers return to ACC competition next Friday, Oct. 3 when they travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to face No. 1 North Carolina.