There was some exciting lacrosse in the Carrier Dome on Saturday as No. 3 Syracuse hosted No. 1 Maryland. The game featured the two best players in the country: Kayla Treanor (SU) and Taylor Cummings (UMD). Cummings is a two-time Tewaaraton winner and Treanor is a two-time finalist for the award. After a strong second half, it was Cummings and Maryland that sealed a 14-9 victory.
The first half was back and forth. Maryland came out swinging scoring the first three goals of the contest, then Syracuse went on a five-to-one run to take a 5-4 lead. But in the last 32 seconds, Maryland shifted the momentum scoring two goals to take a 6-4 lead going into halftime.
"It's something we always talk about. In momentum swings, end a run and when you go on a run, don't let it end and Maryland did a nice job of that today," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait.
In the second half, Maryland did just that. They ended a quick two-goal run by Orange to start the half and then they went on an eight-to-one scoring run to put Syracuse away.
Cummings was quiet in the first half. She forced a couple turnovers, but wasn't involved in any of the scoring. But in the second half she erupted, scoring three goals. Treanor kept pace with Cummings scoring three goals of her own.
Syracuse had a chance to swing the momentum into their own hands with six free position chances. But, they only converted one of those tries.
"You gotta take advantage of opportunities, we talked about it before the game," said Gait. "Instead of stepping up on that eight-meter line and taking the shots that we do in practice, we changed up, we felt the pressure. We didn't go with conviction on those eight-meters."
Maryland capitalized on their opportunities, going 7-for-11 from the eight-meter arc.
Allie Murray made some crucial saves to keep the Orange in it in the first half, she finished with seven saves while allowing 14 goals. Maryland freshman goalie Megan Taylor played incredible between the pipes. She also had seven saves while allowing nine goals.
"(Taylor) did great... To step in and be put in position to start as a freshman I think you're eyes are caught wide open sometimes. And she's really embraced this opportunity and embraced this challenge and run with it. We named her our starter two games ago," said Maryland head coach Cathy Reese.
A question that now loomed over Syracuse is where they would be placed in the rankings after this loss. However, even though they suffered their second loss of the season, the Orange shouldn't move at all. Maryland and Florida will stay at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, both won their games on Saturday.
However, No. 4 Louisville lost to No. 14 Duke, 16-5. Also, No. 5 UNC went into double overtime with No. 9 Virginia before winning 11-10. Syracuse easily handled the Cavaliers 14-8 last week.
Therefore, Syracuse should remain at the No. 3 spot. Louisville will fall and be replaced by UNC at the four spot. The Tar Heels won't jump Syracuse because they have the same loses (Maryland and Florida), but they don't have the same quality wins that Syracuse does.
The Virginia win is the first win North Carolina has over a ranked opponent. Syracuse has three wins over ranked opponents.
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