Syracuse Falls in NCAA Quarterfinals to Northwestern
By Jaron May
CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
EVANSTON, Ill. — The Orange got an extended stay in Chicago as the NCAA Quarterfinal matchup between No. 5 Syracuse (16-5, 5-2 ACC) and No. 4 Northwestern (16-4, 5-1 Big Ten) lasted four hours and 22 minutes, thanks to a two hour weather delay. But, SU fans did not leave Martin Stadium happy as the Orange fell to the Wildcats 18-14 in SU’s final game of the 2019 season.
Syracuse was known for its fast starts throughout the entire season, but Northwestern came out of the gates firing on Saturday and never looked back.
The Wildcats scored three quick goals on three shots in the first five minutes and then went on an eight-minute run later in the first, scoring six-straight goals.
“A solid team effort from both teams,” said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait after the loss. “They had just a little bit more today, especially in the first half. Taking the lead, taking control of the game, doing what they needed to do to have success.”
Seven different NU players found the back of the net in the first half as it was a tough 30 minutes for SU goalkeeper Asa Goldstock. The junior, who had been reliable for the Orange all year, came away with just 3 saves before halftime.
Northwestern also completely dominated the time of possession and didn’t allow Syracuse to get the ball on the offensive side of the field much.
“All around, I just don’t think it was our day today,” said Emily Hawryshuk. “From the beginning, we just need more [intensity] and we didn’t have that then.”
Megan Carney was the only silver lining for the Orange in the first half. The Texas native scored three of Syracuse’s four goals and would finish the game with four goals, making it the second time she’s hit that mark this year.
Nevertheless, Syracuse had suffered its largest halftime deficit in 2019, down 10-4 heading into the second half.
“We let them get to the 10-4 halftime lead and go in feeling pretty good about themselves, to the point where we had to really fight back just to make it a game,” said Gait.
Gait worked his magic and Syracuse came out of the break with more energy and applied the early pressure. Natalie Wallon scored within the first minute and Hawryschuk followed suit a few possessions later.
Then, lightning struck and the two hour wait began.
“Hanging out, resting” Gait explained on what the team did to pass the time. “There’s not much to do. You’re in a couple crammed little locker rooms. There’s nowhere to go, nothing to do. So we just talked and discussed the first half and where we were at and what we needed to do.”
After the weather passed, Syracuse lost its momentum and Northwestern began to pour it on again. The Wildcats’ top scorer, Selena Lasota, led the charge, netting her 15th hat trick of the season after being held scoreless in the first half.
But, the Orange began to fight back as SU put together a 6-1 run to pull the game within two.
Carney, Hawryschuk, Meaghan Tyrrell campaigned the comeback. Tyrrell scored three of the six goals, but Hawryschuk drew the most praise. The junior finished with five goals, which increased her season total to 75 and tied her for second in program history for goals in a season.
“We have an amazing group of girls on the team and that wouldn’t be the stat that it is without them,” said Hawryschuk. “We have a great group of girls on offense and an even better group of girls on defense. So getting to play against them every single day makes me the player that I am.”
But, Northwestern didn’t allow the lead to slip from its grasp and added three more goals before the final buzzer.
“We just started off on the wrong foot, started off slow,” said Carney. “But we turned that around in the second half and just short of what we were going for.”
As SU’s season comes to a close with a 16-5 record, Gait is excited for the future.
“We were a super young team, led by young players that gained another valuable year of experience of how to win,” said Gait. “We’ll come back next year with a team that has an incredible amount of experience of winning.”
Syracuse returns all but four of its players next year.
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