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Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Syracuse Women’s Lax Takes Down Cornell 11-8 in Home Closer

By Ally Heath

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The seniors of the Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse team closed their regular-season careers at the Carrier Dome on a positive note. The Orange (13-4) defeated New York foe Cornell (10-3) 11-8 Tuesday night to wrap up a 8-1 home campaign.

The win did not look so secure, however, when both teams headed to the locker room at halftime: the score was tied at five, and Syracuse had just scored two goals to close the half.

Coming out of the locker room, it was clear the tide had shifted. Syracuse went on a 5-1 run to open the second half and never looked back. It was senior Devon Parker (3 goals, 2 assists) who opened Syracuse’s scoring in the closely contested second half.

“Sometimes it takes that halftime speech or like a new play drawn on the board,” Parker said. “Pull it out and take the smarts that we have to pull it out and put it in the back of the net, because that’s kinda what happened in the second half. We just started playing our offense as opposed to playing into their defense like we did in the first half.”

Parker has become a spark for the Orange, frequently putting up points when the attack is struggling to get working.

Despite getting off more shots, Syracuse struggled to find the back of the net with the same success it saw in the second half. Cornell pressed out on defense, frequently going for checks and changing its defensive setup from man-to-man to zone throughout the game.

“That was a really good Cornell team and they gave us a battle,” head coach Gary Gait said.

A total of 16 fouls and 18 turnovers occurred in the first half, and the changes in possession reflected the score. Cornell would score, then Syracuse would tie it.

Junior captain Riley Donahue (2 goals, 3 assists) stepped again into a leadership role on the attack, orchestrating the offense from the wings to contribute to five points on the day.

“Some of our players stepped up, couple of them up here [gesturing at Donahue and Parker] and made plays to give us the lead,” Gait said. “We got the ball, got a turnover, got back and built on that lead, and I thought we finished the game pretty well.”

Syracuse finishes out its regular season schedule when it heads to Kentucky to face off against Louisville (10-6) on Saturday. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.