LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s soccer team opened its 2017 season Friday night with a 2-0 loss to ACC-program Syracuse at Emmitt Field. Sydney Brackett scored two first-half goals to lead the Orange in the season opener for both programs.

The two teams battled through hot and humid conditions in just the second-ever meeting. Bucknell won the first game last year by a 2-1 decision, but the Orange got the best of the Bison Friday night in the home-and-home series. Brackett, who scored four goals last season, found the back of the net twice in the opening 45 minutes of play. Brackett’s first goal of the evening came in the 12th minute, muscling her way down into the box before blasting a shot to the far right post. Eva Gordon was credited with the assist.

Brackett scored her second goal of the match in the 35th minute in similar fashion. The sophomore received a through ball from Sheridan Street, again shedding off a Bison defender before slotting the ball to the near post.

Syracuse (1-0), which returned 68 percent of its offense in 2017, controlled possession in the first half, outshooting the Bison 10-0 while holding a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Bucknell (0-1), the defending Patriot League champion, registered its first shot in the 46th minute, one of the team’s best looks of the evening. Meghan Holtz, a two-year team captain, played a free kick into the box, and while Kendall Ham, the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, got a good look in front of the net, goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan was there to make a stop. Brosnan, who ranked second in the ACC in saves a season ago, made four stops in the match.

Making her first collegiate start, Dani Kaufman registered eight saves for the Bison. Kaufman showed her athletic ability on several stops, but none more impressive than her diving save in the 54th minute on a blast from Alana O’Neill.

Head coach Kelly Cook got a good look at her freshmen class on Friday, as Alexandra Catanzarite, Brianna Kropinack and Jenna Marek each made their collegiate debuts. Catanzarite had a great look at goal in the 84th minute by putting a nifty move on her defender to create space, but her shot went into the arms of Brosnan.       

The Orange finished the contest with advantages in shots (22-5) and corner kicks (6-4).

Bucknell returns to action Sunday with a match against Saint Joseph’s, whose contest at Lafayette Friday was cancelled due to weather. The contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Emmitt Field and will broadcast on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.TV.