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WLAX: No. 2 Orange Stave Off Late Run By Huskies, Win 12-11

UConn, one of Syracuse's former Big East foes, came to play in a game that could've easily gone either way.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Deep breaths, Syracuse fans, deep breaths. For the second-straight game, the Orange (5-0, 1-0 ACC) were able to hold off their opponent in the final minutes to come away with a victory. With UConn (1-3, 0-0 Big East) being unranked, and a goalie with a 10.24 goals against average and less than a 45% save percentage, Syracuse seemed poised to easily handle the Huskies. Not so fast. There's a reason why they play the games and don't worry too much about what's on paper.

UConn got out to a two-point lead within the first six minutes of game play, thanks to the likes of attackers Carly Palmucci and Katherine Finkelston. Syracuse responded with three goals of their own, within the next two minutes, from Halle Majorana, Riley Donahue, and Kayla Treanor. Several fouls were called against the Orange, leading to two more consecutive goals by the Huskies, by Kelsey Catalano and Grace Nolan, prompting a timeout call by Syracuse. The strategy definitely worked, as the Orange went on a 6-1 tear before the end of the half. Two of the scores came from Treanor, who snuck one past the goalie as time expired, prompting the home crowd to erupt into cheers.

When you compare the two halves of the game side-by-side, they were polar opposites. While it was more of a back-and-forth game in the first half, the second half saw Syracuse only score three goals total, compared to UConn's six. Coming into the half, Syracuse held a four-point lead. After a goal from each side, the Huskies scored three straight goals, two from Nolan, and one Catalano, bringing the team within one of the Orange. The teams would exchange four goals, two for each and both of Syracuse's scored by Treanor, her 20th and 21st goals of the season. Once UConn's Emily Anderson scored to bring the score to 12-11 in Syracuse's favor, there was still 1:17 left on the game clock, plenty of time to score again. The Orange survived another scare.

Overall, Syracuse played a pretty sloppy game, with 23 turnovers in total for the team. UConn's game wasn't that much better, turning the ball over 17 times, themselves. Though, the 23 TOs by the Orange was a testament to the fact that UConn's defense was very efficient. They helped keep the offense in the game, setting them up to do what they needed to to score their 11 goals.

Key Players

UConn: Finkelston, Catalano, Nolan, and Palmucci (3, 2, 3, 2 goals) offensively. Goalie Shannon Nee (9 saves, 7 in the second half)

Syracuse: Treanor, Kempney, and Majorana (5, 2 goals) offensively. Kempney with 13 DC.

Up Next...

Syracuse faces No. 6 Boston College at the Carrier Dome this Saturday, February 28th, at 12:00 p.m. EST. The Eagles will be their second Top-10 team within the span of a week. It will be interesting to see how the team responds after the UConn game.