Syracuse 15 - Dartmouth 5: Thanks For Stopping By, Big Green

Well, that was easy. Well, that was hard. Actually, I'm not quite sure what that was, other than a final score that showed a larger margin of victory that what I expected and what the early part of the game would have indicated would be there. Still and all, the Orange were victorious by a final score of 15-5 and move on the second round of the NCAA tournament to face the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Dartmouth drew first twine in the game as Kirsten Goldberg popped one in off of a free position shot. Bridget Daley answered two minutes later, and Alyssa Murray got her first of the game four minutes later when she converted a free position shot and gave the Orange a 2-1 lead. Hana Bowers and Sarah Holden swapped goals and it looked like the Orange would take a 3-2 lead into the half when Sarah Plumb put one into the back of the net with six seconds left in the half to tie things up and 3-3.

Syracuse played excellent defense to start the first half, but as the game progressed the Big Green started finding some openings and getting good shots from inside the 8 meter fan by dint of their patient play on offense. If not for a hit post and a couple of good saves by Alyssa Constantino the Orange could have been facing another half time deficit. Likewise, Dartmouth was playing efficient defense and getting solid play from Kristen Giovannellio in goal. At this point, the game had all the hall marks of a nail biter with a tie score at the half, a slim lead in shots (15-12) for the Orange and 4-3 advantage in draws for Dartmouth.

The first part of the second half gave no indication that the game would be anything but tight for the duration. The Orange eked out a two goal lead with twenty to play in the game on scores by Sarah Holden and Amy Cross. Hana Bowers scored her second of the game to pull Dartmouth to within one at 5-4. Katie Webster answered less than a minute later to push the lead back to two, and at the point the feel of the game started to change. The Orange were starting to take control of the game and impose their will on the Big Green.

Five minutes later, the Orange dropped the hammer starting with Devon Collin's goal at the 12:03 mark, taking a 7-4 lead. By the 8:31 mark the lead was 11-4 after Alyssa Murray capped off a five goals in four and a half minutes run with her second of the game.

Kirsten Goldberg finished off Dartmouth's scoring, converting a free position to make the score 11-5. The Orange scored four more goals to make the final score 15-5 and Alyssa Constantino stuffed Liz Calby on a free position shot to hold Dartmouth to five goals.

Even though the game was close for the first 40, at no point did I ever feel like the Orange were in a position to lose the game. At worst, it was a "Dartmouth's hanging on for dear life" type of thing and the Orange would have to work hard to earn a trip to the second round. Then the wheels fell off the Dartmouth bus and the Orange romped in to the finish line.

It's nice miserable to see that the officiating has sunk to its usually shoddy standards. I like to beat this drum a lot, but the quality of the officiating from the pro leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) down through the ranks is abysmal. I'm not sure how it can be fixed, but I don't see any end in site until society as a whole changes and the incessant railing against officials stops. It's horrible at the youth levels, and I think it discourages kids would go into officiating due to love of a sport they can't play at a sufficiently high level to do so. You couldn't pay me enough to soak up crap from abusive parents, so it's no wonder they won't either.

Anyway, carrying on, there were some moments where you wondered if the ladies in the black and white striped shirts were watching the same game. I'm still learning the subtleties of the women's game, but I'm pretty sure that when a defender cross checks an attacker to the ground that a foul should be called.

Next week's game is scheduled for 1pm on Saturday May 19th as the Orange welcome the future ACC dance partner North Carolina to the Dome to play for a ticket to Stony Brook. Check back later this week for a game preview.

Scoring Summary

Syracuse: Sarah Holden (4/0/4), Alyssa Murray (4/0/4), Bridget Daley (1/2/3), Gabby Jaquith (1/1/2), Katie Webster (1/0/1), Kailah Kempney (1/0/1), Michelle Tumulo (1/0/1), Devon Collins (1/0/1), Amy Cross (1/0/1), Natalie Glannell (0/1/1), Becca Block (0/1/1)

Dartmouth: Hana Bowers (2/1/3), Kirsten Goldberg (2/0/2), Sarah Plumb (1/0/1)