Syracuse Unable to Soar Past the No. 1 Ranked Eagles

Sunday, Feb 17, 2019 at 1:12 am by Sports Editor

By Jaron May

CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

There are not many games where Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse comes in as the underdog, but this Saturday was an exception when #1 Boston College came to the hilltop. The Orange were ready for a fight and came out swinging in the first half, but the Eagles’ were just too much for SU in the end. BC (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) took care of business on the road, downing Syracuse (2-1, 0-1 ACC) with a final of 14-12.

There was a familiar face on the opposing sideline for the ‘Cuse— Kayla Treanor. Treanor wore the Orange uniform from 2013-2016, during which time she set Syracuse and national records. The attack/midfielder was on the Tewaaraton Watch List three years in a row, was named the IWLCA Attacker of the Year multiple times, set D1 single-season record with 217 draw controls, to go along with her countless other accolades. Now, however, she was in the maroon and gold, as an assistant coach for BC.

“It’s exciting. It’s the story of my life, coaching against former players,” head coach Gary Gait said earlier in the week. “It makes you proud and makes you work hard, knowing you have to be ready and be focused because there are a lot of good coaches that know how you coach.”

When the Orange and Eagles faced off in Boston last year, it was BC who came out on top again. This year’s game was eerily similar, with SU holding its own against the stronger Boston team and even having a late game lead. In 2018, Syracuse held a one goal advantage with just five minutes left, but two late game goals by Sam Apuzzo sealed the with for the Eagles.

That same name, Sam Apuzzo, was called quite a few times in 2019 as well. The Tewaaraton Award winner finished Saturday’s matchup with seven goals and two assists, four of the goals coming in the second half. She completely stifled the SU defense, who didn’t have an answer for her the entire day.

“Basically, every single thing about her makes her dangerous,” said SU goalkeeper Asa Goldstock on Apuzzo. “She has the ability to completely fake me out, or just be everywhere on the field at once.”

Syracuse began the game strong, jumping out to a 7-2 lead at one point. Senior attack, Nicole Levy led the early serge, scoring two of the seven goals. The other standout attackman for SU, Emily Hawryschuk, had a quiet start to her game due to the Eagles deciding to face-guard her for the first ten minutes. After three quick goals, BC backed off and that is when Hawryschuk made them pay, ripping one past the Eagles’ goalkeeper.

Gait was pleased with his team’s early performance, “we were making our shots, the ball was going in the net. We were getting good opportunities… and that allowed us, with the draw controls and the stops on defensive end to get that 7-2 lead.”

SU began the game dominate in the draw circle, but towards the latter end of the first half and the entirety of the second, is when BC began to take over. The Eagles ended the game with an 18-10 advantage in draw controls. BC led in most other statistical categories as well. Boston College lead with 21 ground balls, 36 shots, and 12 saves compared to 16 ground balls, 29 shots, and 11 saves for the Orange.

“Draw control, saves, ground balls— some key stats went their way, made the difference,” said Gait. “To have it only be two goals, I think shows a lot for the talent we have and the ability we have.”

A 7-5 halftime lead was quickly erased by the Eagles, who would score nine times in the second half. The key after intermission for BC, however, was their goalkeeping. New York-native Lauren Daly was in net for the Eagles, tallying nine second half saves. The SU attack admitted Daly was impressive on Saturday, but said they made it very easy for her, shooting it right at her and not challenging the senior goalie.

“I think she’s a phenomenal goalie,” Levy said. “It was definitely the first lefty goalie that we’ve seen this year and that definitely puts a little stress. But I agree with [Hawryschuk], I think we made her look really good.”

100 yards on the opposite end, Goldstock had a relatively great game in net against the best team in the country. She played all 60 minutes and made 11 saves.

Syracuse made it interesting at the end, cutting a three-point deficit to just one with nine minutes remaining; and again, scored two quick goals to come within two, with just under a minute to go. But in the end, the Eagles were just too much for the Orange. BC’s Dempsey Arsenault, the second option behind Apuzzo, was a big reason for the win and finished with three goals and three assists.

Syracuse has a quick turnaround, as they host Coastal Carolina on Monday in the fourth game of their season-opening homestand. Game time is set for five in the evening. | @jaron_may