Syracuse Depth Shines In Victory Over UAlbany
By Jaron May
CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
“Hawryschuk flip, Levy shoots upper left 90.” “Cross straight away, pass in front. Quimby fakes, bounces it in.” “Feeds it inside, shot and a goal.”
That is what Orange fans heard all night on Wednesday. Goal after goal, assist after assist, No. 3 Syracuse (11-2, 3-1 ACC) put together one of its most complete games of the season in a 19-7 victory over UAlbany (5-5, 1-0 AEC).
The unselfishness began with the first goal just two minutes into the game. Sierra Cockerille sprinted down Ernie Davis Legends Field on a fast break. She dumped it off to Meaghan Tyrrell who had to fall to her knees to corral the pass. While on her knees, falling away Tyrrell darted a pass to a streaking Nicole Levy who faked once and whipped a behind the back shot that found twine.
That was the kind of night for the Orange— highlight goals and countless assists. Syracuse tallied its highest assist count as a team this season with nine.
“At halftime, coach talked to us about playing together,” Julie Cross said. “I think we’re a very unselfish team. When we work together and we can find each other and get those assists, it just makes the game not only more fun to play, but it shows how close we are as a team.”
“Team,” that was the key to the SU victory. Not only did the Orange distribute the ball well, they also saw contributions across the board. 11 Syracuse players found the back of the net, which is also good for the second highest mark of the season.
“With the talent that we have and the depth that we have, it’s no shock that it’s that many people that are getting on the board,” Nicole Levy said. “And honestly, those are the teams that are championship-caliber teams. So that’s really exciting.”
One of those players that got on the board was senior Julie Cross. The midfielder and draw specialist came into Wednesday’s matchup with just two goals on her season stat line. On Wednesday, she set a career high with 5 points and tied her career high in goals with 3.
“It was just like a normal game,” Cross said. “I think we had a really solid practice yesterday, staying focused. I just happened to be finding my teammates and my teammates were setting me up for great opportunities.”
The solid practice translated to the field, as SU scored 12 goals in just the first half. Nicole Levy led the charge, pouring in three scores in the first frame and adding a fourth after the break.
“If you look at the stats of the draw and the score, that’s what it was,” said Levy. “We won the majority of the draw controls today. Hats off to the defense, they play well every game, but today the draw controls were huge for us.”
The Orange dominated the Great Danes in the circle in the first half 13-3 and ended the game with a 20-7 advantage. Syracuse’s depth even shined on the draws, as head coach Gary Gait was able to use three different players as draw specialists.
The second half was no different, as SU added another seven goals to its total, each coming from a different player. The last two goals came from Mackenzie Baker and Georgia Pesot. Baker, a sophomore, and Pesot, a freshman, don’t see too much playing time, but made the most of the blowout victory by scoring their first goals of the season.
One name that wasn’t in the forefront on Wednesday was Emily Hawryschuk. Entering the matchup with UAlbany, the junior had scored at least four goals in eight straight games. She couldn’t keep the streak alive against the Great Danes as Imani Hedgeman played tight defense on her all game long.
Even without their top scorer, the Orange still dominated UAlbany to add an eleventh tally to the win column. Now Syracuse will head down to Durham to take on No. 13 Duke on Saturday.
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