While the 11-time national champion Syracuse Men's Lacrosse Team watched as they were matched up with fellow New York State foe Siena to begin their conquest to claim trophy #12, not all is well in Syracuse lacrosse-land. Despite an incredible end to the season, and a share of the Big East championship, Gary Gait's Syracuse women lax-ers fell short of making the big dance.
Syracuse opened the year with a brutal schedule. After knocking off Colgate to open the season at home, the Orange dropped games at #13 Stanford, home to #7 Virginia, and a close one at #1 Maryland 7-5. The Orange looked to right the ship with an 11-5 win at Towson, but then dropped another two straight at #10 Florida and #2 Northwestern, 16-11 each.
Despite a 2-5 record heading into Big East play, the Orange did not give up on their season, and looked relatively dominant against Big East competition. They opened Big East play in Piscataway against Rutgers, knocking off the Scarlet Knights 11-7, and after falling in another non-conference game at #18 Dartmouth, the Orange rattled off victories in four of their next five games, all in conference, against UConn, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Cincinnati, with the lone loss coming on the road against #20 Georgetown.
Syracuse would go on to win their last three games against CNY rival Cornell, and then Big East rivals #7 Loyola (you read that right) and Villanova on the road. Syracuse rode a very hot stretch, winning seven of their last eight games, into the Big East tournament. However, it was not enough to receive an NCAA berth by itself. Syracuse lost the rematch with then #9 Loyola in the opener of the Big East tournament, and the 10-8 record was not enough to carry the Orange into the NCAAs.
While the season ends on a bitter note for Gary Gait and the Orange, the team did receive plenty of accolades for their work on the field. Senior goalie Liz Hogan made her fourth-straight All-Big East team, ending her illustrious career in Orange as SU's all-time leader in saves with 660, and ground balls with 181, as well as the all-time Big East saves mark with 253 in conference.
Seniors Tee Ladouceur and Catherine Rodriguez, as well as sophomore Michelle Tumolo and freshman Katie Webster, join Hogan on the first team, with sophomore Becca Block taking home second-team honors.
As for championships, it seems to be up to the men's program, and the tremendous Syracuse softball team to bring home championships to Manley Field House this spring.