BC wins National Championship over Syracuse, Record-Book Rewritten
By Joe Puccio, CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse (17-4, 8-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference) fell to Boston College (18-3, 8-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference) in the National Championship game, losing 16-10.
Boston College earned their first championship in program history after appearing in every title game since 2017. Syracuse is still searching for their first title after playing in their third National Championship ever and their first since 2014.
Before the opening draw was set, BC and ‘Cuse already made history. No teams have played each other more than three times in one season in the history of women’s lacrosse. Because of an unusual COVID season and the dominance of both programs, Syracuse and Boston College squared off for the fourth time this season when the stakes were the highest.
Leading up into this game, Syracuse was confident in their abilities to take home the title. Following the win on Friday over Northwestern, sophomore Emma Tyrrell expressed the team’s attitude entering Sunday.
“We just have to go in with the same mindset. Play hard and play like a family.”
Syracuse played hard from the opening draw. The first half provided some electrifying lacrosse. BC and SU went back and forth all throughout the period, as the game was tied at the 5, 6, and 7-goal marks. Teams traded possessions, traded open scoring chances, and traded tallies. Although the Eagles held a mere one-goal advantage entering the second half, Cuse was in some trouble.
Emma Tyrrell earned two yellow cards in the first half, forcing her to be ejected from the contest. A team that has lost its two best attackers, Emily Hawryschuk and Meg Carney, really needed the sophomore’s scoring prowess at the top. For Coach Gait, it put him in a difficult position, but he had to do the best job he could.
“We went with a couple freshmen: Jenny Markey and Maddy Baxter. We asked them to step in there and fill in that role. With the way [Emma] has been playing, she was tough to replace. A little too much to replace. It was tough.”
Without Tyrrell, moving Jenny Markey to attack, and Maddy Baxter moving up to first-line midfield, the Orange had 30 minutes left in their season. It was arguably one of the worst halves of lacrosse Syracuse had played all season. SU was outscored 7-2 in the frame, gave up a hat trick to Charlotte North in the second half alone, and played from behind the entire time.
“We knew they were a very good offense,” Coach Gait said postgame. “For a while, we were in the game. But unfortunately, our offense sputtered when we lost a player and that was the difference. It was tough to rebound…We got in a situation where we were pressing it and it forced us to make some bad decisions.”
Syracuse received five yellow cards in this afternoon’s game and defense Sarah Cooper was penalized with a green card late in regulation. It was an aggressive game, but in the words of SU goaltender Asa Goldstock, Boston College’s offense was difficult to stop regardless.
Charlotte North scored six goals in today’s game, tying the record for goals in a championship game. Her six today also brought her to a staggering 101 goals on the season, which set a brand new NCAA record.
“They were finishing their shots and they were getting the ball fed in the middle. We were trying to change up our defense to match up better…we were getting some stops, but we couldn’t piece things together as a team. We were really trying so kudos to them.”
This was Asa Goldstock’s final collegiate appearance after coming back a 5th year due to eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic. She fought through tears all throughout her final press conference.
“All I ever wanted was to play lacrosse at Syracuse. I leave this place feeling so happy and honored…To have another year to do it, I am very grateful.”
Goldstock became Syracuse’s all-time leader in saves, passing the legendary Liz Hogan’s 660 save-mark with a robbery on a BC free position early in the first half.
When I asked Coach Gait what the fondest memory he has of this team, he noted how high his team’s chemistry was.
“The way these players came together, raised the level of play, and created confidence amongst everybody on the team,” said Coach Gait in his final press conference. “I hope they bring that same belief next year and I know they will.”
The 2022 Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse season is already full of anticipation. Emily Hawryschuk and Meg Carney are returning for their final seasons. To pair them with Emma Ward, Meaghan Tyrrell, and Emma Tyrrell is, to put it mildly, a lethal combination.
As for 2021, the team went through tons of adversity: played through a pandemic, lost their best players to injury, and finished as the nation’s runner-ups for the first time in seven years. There should be no shame in this season’s result, only bitterness. The squad will be back next season with a vengeance, especially when it’s Boston College week.
Joe Puccio | @TheRealJoePooch | firstname.lastname@example.org