With the season winding down and the Syracuse Orange’s chances of an NCAA Tournament berth on the line, a big win was needed to get some momentum the rest of the way. Although it wasn’t pretty, the No. 14/18 Orange (8-5) did what they needed to do to pull off a 12-11 overtime win over the No. 9/6 Loyola Greyhounds (8-3) on Thursday afternoon in Baltimore.
Sam Fiedler’s goal a little over two minutes into the game was the lone score for the Greyhounds in the first half. Loyola played stout defense, but the Orange made few mistakes on the offensive end and were able to put the ball past Greyhound goalie Kady Glynn several times. This, combined with a tremendous effort by the SU defense, led to a 5-1 halftime lead for the ‘Cuse.
Syracuse mistakes started to pile up in the second half and Loyola took advantage of some to get back into the game. The Greyhounds slowly chiseled away at the Orange advantage and tied the game at nine apiece with just six and a half minutes left in the game. Emily Hawryschuk and Nicole Levy made back to back goals that pushed the ‘Cuse advantage back to 11-9 with about three and a half minutes to go. Loyola answered 90 seconds later to cut the lead to one and tied the game up with just 14 ticks left when Taylor Van Thof put one past Asa Goldstock to send the game to overtime.
Kerry Defliese won the ensuing draw and the Orange immediately called a time out to set up a play. This broke the Greyhounds’ momentum and ended up being the turning point. Just 40 seconds later Hawryschuk wove past a Loyola defender and dumped it past Glynn to give Syracuse the much needed win.
That feeling when your team beats a top ten opponent on your birthday! pic.twitter.com/MUpUDNP4Sm— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) April 6, 2018
Syracuse outshot Loyola 36-27 overall and 26-23 on goal. The Greyhounds had 15 turnovers to SU’s 13 but did better on clears 14-16 compared to the Orange’s 17-22. Syracuse won the ground ball battle 21-16 while Loyola won in the draw circle 15-10. The Orange went 3-6 on free position shots while the Greyhounds were 2-4. SU had 27 fouls compared to 24 fouls and a yellow card for Loyola.
Hawryschuk led the Syracuse attack with eight points (6 g, 2 a), Taylor Gait added three goals while Riley Donahue had two points (1 g, 1 a). Nicole Levy had a goal and a caused turnover while Vanessa Constantino had a goal and a pair of ground balls. Alexa Radziewicz had three ground balls and a caused turnover. Neena Merola and Ella Simkins added three ground balls each. Goldstock had a very good day in goal with 11 saves against nine goals along with a pair of ground balls and a caused turnover. Hannah Van Middelem added a save against two goals.
That's a winner! Emily Hawryschuk gets around her defender and scores her SIXTH goal of the day to give Syracuse the 12-11 win at No. 9 Loyola! Hawryschuk finishes the day with a career-high 8 pts. pic.twitter.com/kuvODtbFDq— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) April 5, 2018
Emily Hawryschuk: The game MVP definitely goes to her. Six goals, two assists, four ground balls, one caused turnover and her 3-3 shooting in free position was clearly the difference in the game. The free position shots were all bullets that went by Glynn. Of her six goals, none were as big as the one she had in overtime.
First half: While Loyola did play solid defense, the Orange played probably the best half all year and it was greatly needed given the outcome of the game. Ten of Goldstock’s saves were in the first half as part of an overall defensive effort that completely shut down the Greyhound attack in the first 30 minutes. The SU goalie was on fire with a number of really big saves to turn away Loyola. The Greyhounds’ Glynn also had an equally impressive game with 14 saves against 12 goals. She made several huge saves that should have been goals for Syracuse and was a big reason why the margin wasn’t wider at halftime.
Draw Controls: While Loyola won the draw battle 15-10, SU looked more aggressive than they have in past games. Hawryschuk and Defliese combined for nine of the 10 draw controls. Defliese’s draw in overtime cannot be overstated in its importance.
Orange miscues: While I thought Syracuse did a good job with limiting mistakes in the first half, they made a lot more in the final 30 minutes of regulation and it led to several Loyola goals. If they played as well in the second half as they did in the 1st, this game would not have needed to go into overtime.
Two in a row! Nicole Levy scores on assist from Emily Hawryschuk and the Orange lead 11-9 with 3:28 remaining. pic.twitter.com/9TlJxRj789— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) April 5, 2018
Patriot League TV: Okay, not a big factor, but I have to mention this. Honestly I thought the ACC Network was not so hot with regards to coverage. The commentary is painfully wrong at times in game and the camerawork is sometimes off. However, compared to the Patriot League TV, it’s an Academy Award winner. I cannot tell you how many times I saw PLTV cut away from the action to show the sidelines or a player during some pretty key action. What took the cake though were the numerous replays that came at the worst possible moments and lasted for 10-12 seconds. All of these replays came during serious live action play and missed out on a Loyola goal at one point. I can’t say anything on the commentary as I was at work and had the sound off, but the camerawork was absolutely terrible. Perhaps someone who watched and listened to the game can let me know how that went?
Next Up and how this win factors into the rest of the season:
I said in the NCAA Tournament article a couple of days ago that SU needed to win at least one of three games between Loyola, North Carolina and Boston College as well as take down both Virginia Tech and Louisville. Well, they already checked off one of those prerequisites. Now they have to travel to Blacksburg, Va. on Saturday to take on No. 17/14 Virginia Tech (10-4, 3-1) in a big ACC matchup. Game time is at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be on ACC Network Extra (WatchESPN).