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Wednesday, Apr 03, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Freshmen Class Bolsters Syracuse to Win Over Virginia Tech

By Jaron May

CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

April 7, 2018 at 6:24 P.M. That was the moment Tristan McGinley scored in double overtime to seal Virginia Tech’s first win in program history over Syracuse. It was SU’s sixth loss of the season and arguably one of the most gut-wrenching.

With that loss in the back of their minds, the Orange were determined to get revenge in this year’s matchup. No. 3 Syracuse (13-2, 5-1 ACC) did indeed get its revenge, handing Virginia Tech (8-6, 1-3 ACC) its sixth loss of the season in the 14-13 victory.

“It was a big one,” said Emily Hawryschuk. “[Last year’s loss] was something we spoke about before the game. So being able to walk off the field today with a win is awesome.”

SU started fast per usual, scoring four goals in the first four minutes of the game, but Wednesday’s affair was a little different. The veterans, such as Hawryschuk and Nicole Levy, usually lead the charge, but it was the freshmen who stepped up big.

Megan Carney not only had a career game, but the Texas native put together the best performance Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse has ever seen from a freshman. Carney finished with career highs in points with 9, goals with 4, and assists with 5. Those 9 points also put her in 10th for most points in a game in the SU record book.

“I came out strong, just finished the ball, and hit girls when they were cutting,” said Carney. “I woke up and was like ‘I need to have a good game today’ and I just did my best.”

“She has that potential, that’s why she plays,” head coach Gary Gait commented on Carney’s performance. “She’s got unbelievable talent… and today she delivered on it.”

Carney was not the only freshman to have an impact on Wednesday’s game. Her attack counterpart, Meaghan Tyrrell, also contributed two goals and an assist. Overall, the Orange freshmen were involved in 11 of SU’s 14 goals on the day.

“Our freshman class came in and really made an impact on our team,” said Tyrrell. “We have me, Meg, and Sarah Cooper as stars on the field that are playing big roles on both the offensive and defensive ends. So I like to think we are making a good impact on the team.”

Gait was not surprised with the young players making a large impact saying, “At this point, they are just part of the team… 15 games already, so that’s plenty of experience for anybody. The ones who have been starting all year have had enough playing time to be veterans at this point. That’s why you see games out of them, because they have that much experience.”

Syracuse went into the locker, leading 10-6 at halftime. Virginia Tech’s Paige Petty was responsible for half of those goals in the first. Petty finished five goals, showing why she is one of the top scorers in the ACC and country.

“They were looking for her. They found the gaps,” said Gait. “She was hitting the back of the net… Her first four shots went in.”

Gait eventually decided to face guard Petty after her fifth goal of the night, ten minutes into the second half. The move shut down Virginia Tech’s best scorer, but the Hokies saw contributions from other players to make the game interesting.

Tech was down by five with eight minutes left, so the Hokies turned it on, giving the Orange flashbacks to last year. VT went on a four-goal run to end the game, including a goal to pull it to within one with just 30 seconds left.

The Hokies were unable to control the final draw, allowing SU to run out the clock and escape with another one-goal win. The Orange are now 5-1 in one-goal games this season.

“Another hard fought battle,” said Gait. “We didn’t finish strong today, but we got the job done and got another W.”

Now, Syracuse has a well deserved break of 10 days until its next game.

“I’m excited for ten days off,” Gait said. “We are going to take a couple days to rest and then we’ll get back at it thinking about our good ole friends down in North Carolina.”

Syracuse heads down to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels on Saturday, April 13th.

jmay02@syr.edu | @jaron_may