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Seniors lead Syracuse to title

2015 Division I Field Hockey

Syracuse seniors (from left) Alma Fenne, Emma Russell, Alyssa Manley and goalie Jess Jecko finally earn a moment with an NCAA championship trophy. TONY DING / NCAA PHOTOS

The Results

CHAMPIONSHIP

Syracuse 4, North Carolina 2

SEMIFINALS

Syracuse 3, Connecticut 1

North Carolina 2, Duke 0

ELITE 90 HONOREE

Lauren Blazing, Duke

The Syracuse University senior trio of Emma Russell, Jess Jecko and Alyssa Manley reached the national semifinals as freshmen. They made the NCAA tournament again as sophomores and lost in the national championship game as juniors. This year, though, they capped stellar careers with a 4-2 NCAA championship victory over the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on Nov. 22 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“This senior class is so special to me,” Syracuse coach Ange Bradley said. “We’ve had so many successes, and many of those successes have come after failure.”

The trio was a part of Orange teams that went 74-14 over the past four seasons. This year, they were joined by Alma Fenne – a graduate transfer from the Netherlands – who finished ninth in the nation in goals per game (0.86) and helped Syracuse finally get over the championship hurdle.

Russell finished her career with 57 goals, the most in school history, including one in the championship-clinching win over North Carolina. She was also named Syracuse’s female athlete of the year in 2015, as she helped lead Syracuse to its first women’s national championship in any sport.