Behind Ali Cassera's five goals, the Northwestern Wildcats got its third come-from-behind victory of the season and edged Syracuse 13-12 Saturday afternoon in Evanston, Ill. The loss snapped the Orange's three-game winning streak.
Syracuse played a near perfect start in the first half, starting with junior Alyssa Murray finding junior Katie Webster for her sixth of the year at the 28:58 mark. Northwestern's Erin Fitzgerald quickly countered, capturing the first of her three goals on the afternoon roughly three minutes later to tie the game up at one apiece.
Webster struck again after retaining the draw, netting her second goal of the game and sparking a 3-0 run that gave the Orange its largest lead by either team, 4-1 with 22:27 left on the clock. Several Syracuse players stepped up in Michelle Tumolo's absence, who was held pointless by the Wildcats' Kerri Harrington. Harrington is one of the nation's best defenders in terms of faceguarding. Freshman Kayla Treanor followed with an unassisted goal before Murray converted on a free position attempt.
Cassera's score gave the Wildcats its first lead of the game and ended Syracuse's scoring tear. The senior's goal ignited a four goal flurry.
The Orange again responded to the Wildcats' surge, ending a 19-minute scoring drought when sophomore Kailah Kempney found the back of the net on a put back. Kempney would be involved in the following play, too, assisting Murray at the 3:01 mark. The Orange went into halftime with a 7-5 lead after Murray scored her third goal on the afternoon with 13 seconds left to go on the clock.
Despite Northwestern scoring the first two scores in the second half, Syracuse's Murray added to her five goal performance, scoring back-to-back goals to put the Orange up by two. The Cats would not be denied and come roaring back and score two goals of their own before Treanor gave the Orange what looked like its go-ahead goal at 12-11.
After recording a career high four goals in the game against Ohio State on Wednesday, Wildcat senior Taylor Thornton would net her only score of the game on a free position to tie the game for the eighth and final time at 12 with 10:32 left to play.
The Wildcats regained the lead when senior Amanda Macaluso found junior Alyssa Leonard for the eventual game winner at the 6:09 mark.
Syracuse's offense found scoring in six different players including: Murray (5g), Treanor (2g, 2a), Webster (2g), Kempney (1g, 1a), Devon Collins (1g) and Amy Cross (1g).
Kelsey Richardson played the entire game in cage for the Orange and recorded four saves.
Syracuse will face Villanova on the road next Friday, April 5. Draw is set for 4 p.m.