Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Advances to NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals With 13-9 Win Over Princeton
By: Ian Nicholas | @IanNicholasTV | CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
Princeton, NJ – After a near collapse in Syracuse’s 12-11 first round win over Fairfield on Friday, the Orange (15-5, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) provided more questions than answers at the start of today’s second round battle with Princeton (15-4, 7-0 Ivy League). Fifth-seeded SU found itself down 3-0 under five minutes into the first quarter, and still trailed by two at the beginning of the second. But the Orange would shrug off yet another cold start and outscore the unseeded Tigers 12-6 over the final 45 minutes, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for the third time in a row with a 13-9 triumph.
The last season that The ‘Cuse was bounced ahead of the Elite Eight came back in 2018, which also was when Syracuse last saw Princeton ahead of today. Chris Sailer’s squad outlasted the Orange in double overtime in the first round. A tad over four years later, Sailer’s final game as the Tiger’s coach comes at the hands of first-year head woman Kayla Treanor. The 2008 US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame inductee announced early in 2022 that this would be her final year on the job. Across 36 seasons at the helm of the Tigers, Sailer guided Princeton to 16 Ivy League titles and three NCAA Championships.
SU’s quest for its first National title win continues, though, thanks to strong performances from Tewaawarton finalist Meaghan Tyrrell (five goals) and star freshman Olivia Adamson (three goals); the latter of which has officially broken out after talling nine points over her first two career NCAA Tournament appearances. While The ‘Cuse’s offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders from start to finish, both goalie Kimber Hower and draw specialist Kate Mashewske were. After Hower was briefly benched in the fourth quarter of the Orange’s tight first round victory, the redshirt junior logged more saves (11) than goals allowed (9) across a full 60 minutes this afternoon. On the other hand, Syracuse’s draw unit owned a 17-8 advantage in the circle thank in large part to the play of Mashewske, who won 13 draws by herself.
In each of their first two NCAA Tourney games, the Orange have scored six goals in the second quarter after notching two goals or less in the first. Tyrrell and Adamson each found twine twice during the second frame to pull SU ahead 8-7 by halftime. After Princeton’s all-time points leader, Kyla Sears, nailed a free position to tie the game 90 seconds into the third quarter, The ‘Cuse began to separate itself with a 4-0 run. Sears rattled in her 70th and final goal of the season at the 2:52 mark in the third to keep the Tigers within three for the rest of the frame. Syracuse coasted to the win over the final 15 minutes, though, increasing the lead to 13-8 with 5:06 remaining with a pair of Meaghan Tyrrell woman-up goals.
Tyrrell can continue to build on her National Player of the Year resume on Thursday, when Syracuse either travels to play fourth-seeded Northwestern or hosts Michigan in the quarterfinals. The Orange lost to the Wildcats in Evanston on March 1st (and also defeated Northwestern during 2021’s NCAA Tournament Semifinals). Meanwhile, the Orange have never played the Wolverines.