Syracuse’s Defense Paves Way for Top-10 Win

Sunday, Feb 23, 2020 at 12:21 am by Sports Editor

By Jacob Morris

Citrus TV’s Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

No. 7 Syracuse (4-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) hit the road for the first time this season to take on No. 6 Northwestern (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten) after winning two consecutive games inside the Dome. The Wildcats are a familiar foe for the Orange as the two teams faced off twice last year. The ‘Cuse pulled out a thrilling overtime victory early in the season before Northwestern won a close contest in the NCAA Quarterfinals.

In this season’s showdown, Syracuse earned the program’s first-ever victory in Evanston defeating Northwestern 16-11. Emily Hawryschuk led the Orange with six goals while Meaghan Tyrell added a career-high five.

The SU defense was outstanding as they held the Wildcats to just three goals in the second half and only one in the final 19 minutes. Northwestern had originally led the country in scoring offense with over 24 goals per game coming into the matchup with Syracuse.

The Orange got off to quick start as Tyrell gave SU a 6-2 lead with 10:27 remaining in the first half. But then, Northwestern dominated the rest of the period, finishing the frame on a 6-1 run, putting the Wildcats up 8-7 at the halftime break. This was a large dose of déjà vu for the ‘Cuse, back to their early season tilt with No. 10 Stony Brook. The Orange watched a 6-2 first-half lead turn into a 7-7 tie at the half. SU fell to the Seawolves 17-16 in that same matchup.

Saturday’s contest was following a similar pattern early in the second half. Star attacker Megan Carney earned a second yellow card early in the second frame, resulting in her ejection from the game and a Wildcat man-up goal to put Northwestern up 9-8. The ‘Cats struck again less than two minutes later when Taylor Pinzone converted a free position opportunity to extend the Northwestern lead to 10-8 with just under 20 minutes remaining in the contest.

From that point on, the Syracuse defense stepped up in a massive way. The Orange allowed just one more Wildcat goal the remainder of the game while forcing five Northwestern turnovers. Goalkeeper Asa Goldstock had three saves and a groundball pickup in the final stretch.

The Syracuse attack elevated their play as well with the Orange rattling off five consecutive goals. Meaghan Tyrell capped off the run with her fifth goal of the game as SU took a 13-10 lead with a little less than seven minutes remaining. Then, the Emily Hawryschuk show started yet again. The All-American sealed the Orange victory with three goals in the final three minutes of the game.

This was a significant win for Syracuse as the team came into the season with the expectation that it could compete with the nation’s elite. Tonight, the Orange not only competed with one of the country’s premier teams, they dominated. | @jacobwm35