Syracuse clinches National Championship berth, defeats Northwestern 21-13
By Joe Puccio
CitrusTV’s Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
3rd-seeded Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse (17-3, 8-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference) purchased the extension to their hotel plan this afternoon after taking down 2md-seeded Northwestern (15-1, 11-0 in Big Ten Conference) 21-13.
Syracuse advances to their first national championship appearance since 2014. The hunt for championship number one lives on.
The story of today’s game was Goliath vs Goliath. Syracuse and Northwestern are two of the top 3 programs in collegiate lacrosse, but one of these teams was more prepared for the other.
“The ACC has the best teams and plays the toughest schedule,” said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. “The experience of playing teams in the country week in and week out gave us that confidence.”
After a 1-1 tie early in the contest, Syracuse found their rhythm. Junior Meaghan Tyrrell scored two unanswered goals, along with Sam Swart and Jenny Markey adding to the fun. Meaghan Tyrrell noted that the first goal for Northwestern woke up the Orange attack.
“When the first goal went in, it lit a fire under us. We wanted to score 3 or 4 up on them and we did.”
The first half was all defense. Graduate goalkeeper Asa Goldstock only allowed 4 goals in the opening frame, including a lone tally from the nation’s leading scorer Izzy Scane. Her play was commended by Coach Gait.
“Asa Goldstock led the way. Our first half defense was the best half all season. It built some confidence. We were thrilled that defense led the way. We pride ourselves in good team defense. Izzy had 7 points and she normally scores 7 goals.”
SU entered the locker room with a 10-4 lead. However, this wasn’t the time for Syracusr to kick their feet up and coast to the title game. Northwestern is known for their late-game comebacks, including an 11-goal heroic effort that earned the Wildcats a Big Ten Championship. NU put the pressure on Syracuse early on, but that didn’t seem to sway the Orange’s focus.
“Whenever a team gets really aggressive, it makes our team want it more,” Emma Tyrrell noted after scoring 5 points in this afternoon’s game. “When that happens, it encourages us to get back and make them regret getting yellow cards.”
Northwestern not only tallied up the fouls, but they racked up the goals. The Cats went on a 4-0 scoring run to cut SU’s lead to 15-12. The breathing room was narrow, but Emma Tyrrell knew the Orange were better.
“It was nerve-wracking. With all the adrenaline and confidence, I knew we had it.”
After Northwestern got within striking distance, the Orange powered their way out. A 6-0 scoring run for the Orange, including hat trick clinching goals from Emma Tyrrell and freshman Jenny Markey were too strong for NU to come back from. SU punched their ticket to the national championship with a commanding 21-13 victory.
For Syracuse, this was a result of a strong ACC regular season. Coming into this game, Syracuse played 12 top-10 opponents and only lost three of those games. Northwestern played their first game against a top-10 opponent against Duke, another ACC club, in the previous round.
“NU is one of these teams we didn’t get to see, so we were looking to prove a point to them,” said Meaghan Tyrrell, who scored 5 goals with 8 points. “We thought we deserved to be the number 2 seed all season.”
Vengeance was in the air at Johnny Unitas Stadium and Syracuse proved their point as one of the top 2 teams in collegiate lacrosse. The opportunity to be crowned the number one team in the nation comes up on Sunday. Boston College, who upset UNC early this afternoon, are looking to ger their revenge on Syracuse at the national championship. For the Orange, who is 2-1 against the Eagles this season, they cannot wait for the opportunity.
“It’s really exciting,” said Emma Tyrrell. “I love a good ACC matchup because it’s what we’ve been dealing with.”
The 2021 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse National Championship is set. 2nd-seeded Syracuse takes on 3rd-seeded Boston College this Sunday, May 30th at noon from Johnny Unitas Stadium. Stay tuned for a pregame article tomorrow and for a postgame recap following the National Championship.
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