Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Takes Down Georgetown in Second Round of NCAA Tournament
By Jaron May
CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, NY — For upstate New York and one of the snowiest cities in the country, Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse has it pretty good in its hometown. The Orange usually reep the benefits playing in the warm, well-lit, turf fielded Carrier Dome, but Sunday’s game was a much different. No. 5 Syracuse (15-4, 5-2 ACC) was outside at the SU Soccer Field battling not only Mother Nature, but Georgetown (12-8, 3-2 BIG EAST) in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. In both cases, the Orange came out victorious, especially with a 14-8 win over the Hoyas.
“What a day,” said ‘Cuse head coach Gary Gait. “We knew it was going to be cold and wet, but I don’t think we quite expected that.”
With the rain pouring down, both teams had trouble finding their footing early in the first half. Emily Hawryschuk did what she does best and scored first, just two minutes into the game, but then the game ran dry. Turnover, after missed shot, after save, led to an ensuing 11 minutes of scoreless play.
After lulling the Orange and Hoyas fans to sleep for over ten minutes, Sam Swart catalyzed both teams and woke up the crowd. Leading up to that, Asa Goldstock jogged up the field with the ball in her stick. Crossing all the way over the midline, the goalie kept moving into Hoya territory until she finally looped a pass over the defenders’ heads and right into the pocket of a streaking Natalie Wallon. Wallon then found Swart coming in from the right side, and Swart one-timed it home.
The goal energized the stadium and the teams, leading to eight more goals in the first half. None of them were scored by Georgetown’s leading goal scorer, Taylor Gebhardt. The senior had 69 points on 50 goals and 19 assists for the season, but on Sunday she didn’t register a point. It was the first time Gebhardt was held scoreless the entire season and it was all at the hands on Syracuse’s go-to face guarder, Allyson Trice. Trice face guarded Gebhardt the entire game, shutting her down and only allowing her to get one shot off.
“We watched her play the other day; she scored seven goals. I think that’s a start,” said Gait when asked why he decided to face guard Gebhardt. “We thought we’d take them out of the flow of their game a bit and I think we are pretty happy with the way it worked.”
With Gebhardt nullified, Syracuse went into the halftime break up by three. Still in striking range, the Hoyas kept it close in the second, but ran into a wall named Asa Goldstock. The Syracuse goalkeeper came up with big save after big save in the second half.
“With the weather, the attack struggles a little bit more than I do,” said Goldstock. “So it’s easier for me to get those saves… [I] just need to be there to help [my] teammates.”
Goldstock played all 60 minutes and made eight saves. The defense around her, led by Grace Fahey and Sarah Cooper, caused eight turnovers.
With the stout defense performing under harsh conditions, the Syracuse offense had to carry its weight as well, and boy did it. The Orange poured in five goals in the final ten minutes, including two from Hawryschuk. The junior had a career night, with five goals and two assists. It was her 17th hat trick of the season and her last goal gave her 70 on the season, which is good for 6th in program history.
“It’s a game and all I wanted to do is go in and win,” said Hawryschuk. “Just going out with the mindset of ‘we’re not losing’ I think is what helped me carry through.”
Hawryschuk’s attack counterpart, Megan Carney, also played a big role in the Syracuse win, adding three goals and two assists to her season totals. The Orange would close out the game and get out of the rain with a six goal victory and a ticket punched to the next round.
The win was Syracuse’s first playoff victory since 2016 and meant much more than just another tally in the win column for the Syracuse players.
“It’s been really hard on us, these past three years, on being so close to that first win in the tourney and not getting there,” said Goldstock. “We knew that we could be better.”
“This is the team that is going to do it, going to the end,” added Hawryschuk. “I know it’s really exciting to have that first NCAA win, but there are three more games to go.”
The first of those last three games will be played in Chicago as No. 5 Syracuse will take on No. 4 Northwestern in the NCAA Quarterfinals next Saturday. The winner will have a bid to the NCAA Final Four.
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