The Orange (3-0, 1-0 ACC) faced its real test of the season against the No. 8/9 Cavaliers (1-2, 0-1 ACC) on Monday in the Carrier Dome. It was an exciting, back-and-forth contest between the two Top-10 teams, a game that surely did not disappoint those in attendance.
After two quick goals by Virginia to begin the game, Syracuse scored a goal of their own to pull within one. Virginia scored another two goals, one each by star attackers Liza Blue and Courtney Swan, and the Orange promptly called a timeout. Afterward, Syracuse went on a tear, scoring five straight goals to go ahead 6-4. UVA would score once more on a ball by Casey Bocklet, but SU would come back with two goals of their own, taking an 8-5 lead into the half.
The Hoos scored just 20 seconds into the second half, bringing the team within two again, before the Orange scored again on a Halle Majorana to Erica Bodt feed to get it back to three at 9-6. Then, a 3-0 UVA run tied the game at nine. Syracuse went ahead again, on a goal by Devon Collins fed by Majorana, but Virginia tied it once again. The Orange tallied two goals, grabbing the lead for good. Kayla Treanor led the way for the Orange, scoring three of her five goals within the span of little more than two-and-a-half minutes. Things became interesting in the final minute of the game, though, as Virginia had control of the ball and could have scored, had they not turned it over.
Defensively, Syracuse was constantly on their toes, as defenseman Mallory Vejar explains, "Lacrosse, like coach (Gary Gait) always says, it's a game of runs, so that team goes up by a couple, we need to make sure we're balancing, that's always our goal."
It was quite a way to begin conference play in the ACC for both teams.
For the Hoos, Bocklet and Blue would each score three goals, totaling six each on the season and tied for the team lead. Swan would assist on two of those, with three assists on the day. Freshman goalie Rachel Van Der Kolk garnered high praise from her head coach, Julie Myers, "It's a first-year goal keeper who had a really solid game against great attackers.... it's the third college game of her career, I think she'll only get smarter and better and composed..." She allowed 14 goals and saved 10 for Virginia.
Aside from Treanor's five goals, Collins and Bodt each scored two of their own. Kailah Kempney did what she does on draw, winning 12 draw controls for the Orange. Net-minder Kelly Richardson had 10 saves on the day, allowing 13 goals. "Our offense was putting it into the net, so we had to get some stops on our end and I think that we balanced really well and that's why we came away with the win today," she said after the game. "It's definitely not gonna be the last game that's like that, so you just kinda get used to it and roll with the punches."
Syracuse plays UConn tonight in the Carrier Dome at 6 p.m. ET. The Huskies are coming off of a 16-10 win over Dartmouth this past Saturday, and have three prolific goal scorers in Emily Anderson, Katherine Finkleston, and Alexandra Crofts. These ladies have scored seven, six, and five goals, respectively. Goaltender Shannon Nee has seen all of the minutes for the team, with 24 saves on 67 shots, leading to a .429 save percentage and 10.27 goals-against average. Look for the Orange to be alert and ready to score, and quickly, on their former Big East foe this evening.