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Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Offensive Firepower Lifts SU Past Binghamton

By Jaron May

CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

Coming off an easy win against Connecticut on Friday, Syracuse had the momentum on its side going into its game against Binghamton. With the home crowd behind them, Syracuse (2-0, 0-0 ACC) took care of Binghamton (0-1, 0-0 AEC) with a final score of 15-5 on Tuesday night.

This game was Binghamton’s season opener, after a historical year for the program in 2018, finishing third in the American East. But, the Bearcats had relied heavily on a strong senior class that has since graduated.

Binghamton head coach Stephanie Allen is still optimistic about the season despite the loss. “We lost a large number of contributors and difference makers due to graduation, but have a really strong group moving into bigger roles this season,” she said.

Meanwhile, SU has a young core of players who head coach Gary Gait said he is excited to see play against an upstate New York team. He enjoys comparing his squad with the others in the area and tries to show that SU has the best women’s lacrosse program in the region. He did just that and a little more on Tuesday.

Binghamton controlled the opening draw and had the first possession of the game, but after that it was all Orange. Syracuse got off to a hot start once again, scoring five goals in the first 13 minutes. Each goal came from a different SU player, starting with senior Nicole Levy. Natalie Wallon, Meaghan Tyrrell, Sam Swart, and Cara Quimby were the other four to find the back of the net early.

But then there was a ten-minute span where Syracuse could not finish any of their shots. The Orange missed eleven consecutive shots, leading to a 9-27 shot-to-goal ratio in the first. The uncharacteristic play was due to a mixture of errant shots that missed the net completely and Binghamton’s goalie Taylor Passuello. The junior from Oceanside, N.Y. made some miraculous saves, sacrificing her body at times to make the stops.

Gait was not pleased with his offense’s performance in the latter portion of the first half. “On the offensive end,” he said. “We were a little bit sluggish and not quite focused enough to execute the way we can.”

Levy, who scored early and was the player who eventually ended the drought, admitted that the attack didn’t put as much pressure on as they should have during that time. “Only dead fish go with the flow,” Levy said. “[Coach Defliese] was right. We need to do a better job at really sparking more energy and coming out there and just putting the game away.”

Levy scored her second of the night at the 7:01 mark to break the cold-streak. Shortly thereafter, the SU fans were treated to the play of the game. Emily Hawryschuk found Morgan Alexander, who snapped a shot behind her back and tickled the twine. Alexander ended her night with a goal and two ground balls.

The Orange scored two more times before the break and it seemed like it was going to be a shutout for the first half. Lindsay Stephen ended that dream with just 0.5 seconds remaining. It would be the only goal Asa Goldstock would let up on the night.

The second half was more of the same. SU started strong, allowing Gait to play his bench and get younger players some game experience. = Sierra Cockerille made the most of it, scoring her first career goal and ten minutes later, netting another.

Senior captain Natalie Wallon was happy to see the bench play. “I think it’s awesome to have young, new faces out there,” she said. “It gives us some new looks.”

Syracuse had 15 goals on the night, coming from ten different players and Gait was very pleased by his bench’s performance.

“We have a pretty talented team and they get opportunities and they’re going to put the ball in the net,” Gait said.

While the offense saw some firepower come off the bench, the SU defense cannot say the same. Once Gait put in the reserves, including goalie Bri Stahrr, Binghamton scored five unanswered goals to close out the game.

Nevertheless, the SU defense deserves the most credit in the win. Binghamton had difficulties setting up their attack, penetrating the middle, and even just holding on to the ball. SU caused 15 turnovers and snatched 32 ground balls.

“I was super impressed today. [The defense] didn’t give up any easy goals,” Gait said. “They kept getting the ball back for us. I thought they were the stars of the game today.”

The Syracuse defense will have to be even better this Saturday, as they have a much harder test coming to town. The Orange host last year’s national runner-up No. 1 Boston College, featuring 2018 Tewaaraton Award winner Sam Apuzzo. The game is set for noon on Saturday.

jmay02@syr.edu | @jaron_may