As with the Boston College Eagles the previous weekend, the No. 7 Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team (4-1, 0-1 ACC) found itself trailing late in the game against the No. 5 Northwestern Wildcats (3-1). The Wildcats were dominating the draw control and had gone on a five goal tear to turn a 12-9 SU advantage into a 14-12 lead with six minutes remaining. But the Orange were able to turn the tables in those last minutes with goals by Sierra Cockerille, Megan Carney and Emily Hawryschuk for a 15-14 comeback OT win over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon in the Dome.
The teams traded goals in the first seven minutes of the game before the Orange gradually extended their lead to 6-3 at the 13:40 mark of the first half on a Julie Cross shot. Syracuse continued to hold this three goal edge for the next nine minutes, answering each Wildcat attempt to get closer. Sam Swart pinballed her way through Northwestern coverage and put her shot past Wildcat goalie Julie Krupnick to give the Orange a 9-6 advantage with 4:42 left in the half. Northwestern cut the lead to one with goals by Lauren Gilbert and Selena Lasota within 30 seconds of each other as ‘Cuse took a 9-8 lead into the break.
Despite draw control problems, Syracuse increased their lead back to three seven minutes into the second half when Mary Rahal beat out three incoming Wildcat defenders with a long range man-down free position shot to push the lead back to 12-9. Northwestern responded with a five goal run over the next 16 minutes as Krupnick stopped a number of Orange shots on goal. Lasota’s goal at the 7:05 mark gave NU their largest lead of the day at 14-12.
Despite having their backs against the wall, the Orange clawed their way back. Cockerille’s off-balance goal at the 5:18 mark breathed new life into Syracuse’s attack. They had two more chances to tie over the next several minutes, but were turned back by Krupnick saves. With time winding down, Northwestern mostly burned off an SU man-up opportunity, but cost them a shot clock violation with only 38 ticks left. The Orange had one last chance to tie the game and they took full advantage of it.
Following the successful clear, Swart ran downfield and found Carney around the top of the fan in the middle of three incoming Northwestern defenders. The freshman attacker found the back of the cage with 25.5 seconds left to tie the game at 14. The Wildcats won the ensuing draw and narrowly missed winning the contest in regulation when Lasota’s shot hit the post with 6 seconds left.
Gilbert won the draw in overtime for NU and passed it off to Lasota. Following a Wildcat time out, Lasota tried to move towards the cage, but was aggressively pursued by three Orange players before sophomore defender Grace Fahey managed to knock the ball out of the veteran attacker’s stick. Syracuse regained possession and called a time out after a successful clear.
Hawryschuk tried to move inside for a shot and was knocked down but play was allowed to continue. A brief scrum for the ball finally found its way into Rahal’s stick and she backed it out to set up another play. Following a short passing rotation around the perimeter, Meaghan Tyrrell gave it to Hawryschuk who fired it past Krupnick from the top of the fan with 1:06 remaining in the 1st OT period for the win.
- Shots: Syracuse 42, Northwestern 36
- Shots on Goal: Syracuse 29, Northwestern 23
- Turnovers: Northwestern 20, Syracuse 13
- Clears: Syracuse 22-24, Northwestern 22-25
- Ground Balls: Syracuse 30, Northwestern 28
- Draw Controls: Northwestern 20, Syracuse 11
- Free Positions: Northwestern 2-6, Syracuse 1-4
Hawryschuk (4 g, 1 a, 2 gb, 1 ct, 4 dc), Nicole Levy (2 g, 3 a), Swart (3 g, 1 a, 2 gb), Carney (2 g, 4 gb, 1 ct, 1 dc), Tyrrell (1 g, 5 gb, 1 ct), Rahal (1 g, 3 gb), Cross (1 g, 2 dc), Cockerille (1 g, 1 gb), Ella Simkins (3 gb, 3 ct, 1 dc), Sarah Cooper (2 gb, 2 dc), Kerry Defliese (3 ct), Allyson Trice (2 gb), Fahey and Alexa Radziewicz (1 gb, 1 ct each), Cara Quimby (1 gb), Vanessa Costantino (2 dc), Braelie Kempney (1 dc), Asa Goldstock (3 gb, 9 saves)
The Turning Point
With a little over five minutes left, Cockerille’s goal was vitally important because it ended an 18 minute scoring drought and it briefly stabilized a deteriorating momentum situation for the Orange. Syracuse could not immediately take advantage of the goal as NU’s Krupnick made a couple more saves over the next few minutes, but Cockerille’s score kept SU within striking distance towards the end of regulation and set up the final two ‘Cuse goals.
Both sides had some big defensive stops over the next four minutes but the Wildcats put themselves in a hole when freshman midfielder Izzy Scane was given a yellow card with around two and a half minutes left to play. Northwestern was able to gain possession when Krupnick had another big save but had a hard time finding anything on the offensive end due to the man-down situation. NU had to be content with winding down the penalty for a shot clock violation. With 38 seconds left in the game (and about 7-8 seconds left on the man-up), Radziewicz tossed the ball to Goldstock (who had made a nice save with about 50 seconds left) who fired it upfield to Fahey. Fahey, in turn, found Swart downfield just as the man-up expired. The passing was well executed as Carney caught Swart’s pass on the run amid some defensive confusion and put it in the back of the cage for the tie.
In overtime, as stated above, Lasota came out of the time out with possession and was actively looking for a shot on goal, but ran into a triple team of Swart, Simkins and Fahey. The senior Northwestern attacker had to back off, but continued to be pursued by Simkins and Fahey. Lasota managed to get momentarily clear of the two before Swart moved in to block her off. As Lasota tried to evade, Fahey knocked the ball out from behind. Trice scooped the ball up and the Orange were able to eventually clear. The defensive scheme was perfect in this sequence as Lasota could not even get a pass off (she did look to get rid of it at least once) as Simkins and Fahey cut off her angles. Hawryschuk subsequently put the finishing touch with the score shortly after.
Draw Control/Turnovers: Northwestern won the draw control battle handily but had problems taking care of the ball. A 20-11 draw advantage was largely offset by 20 turnovers, though the former certainly got them back into the game. The Orange did a better job with turnovers (13 for the game), but they had their moments with errant passes. A number of SU turnovers amid missed opportunities came when they had a three goal lead at several points in the game and threatened to blow the game wide open.
Defense: Northwestern came into the game with a number of potential scorers, but their big guns, Gilbert and Lasota, were largely stifled. Both wound up with a pair of goals each, but bear in mind that Gilbert was averaging double that coming into this contest, while Lasota had 7 goals in 67 minutes of play (5 vs. Louisville and 2 in the first seven minutes against Dartmouth before she was injured). Goldstock had a number of big saves on Saturday afternoon and the defensive sequence in overtime was some of the best so far this year.
Julie Krupnick: As with Lauren Daly in the Boston College game, Krupnick had a big second half with eight saves against five goals (plus another save in OT). This was almost the difference between victory and defeat for Syracuse but the Orange had just enough in the tank to pull off the win. There’s no question that Krupnick kept NU in the game when SU could have opened it up several times.
Ground Balls: Syracuse edged out Northwestern in an intense ground ball battle all afternoon. But the last pair of ground balls in overtime by Trice and then Rahal after Hawryschuk’s missed shot were essential in giving SU the win. It was a much improved performance in this area after getting beat solidly in the category by Boston College.
Resilience: Northwestern clearly had momentum late in the game but the Orange still found a way to win. Syracuse was 2-5 in one goal games last year (which includes 1-3 in OT) and it seemed like they played not to lose. The ‘Cuse in the final couple of minutes of regulation and throughout overtime just looked like a team playing to win. It’s not something that shows up on the stats sheet exactly, but it just feels that way.
The Orange will have another key matchup on Wednesday afternoon when they face No. 17 Loyola (1-1) at 4pm in the Dome. The Greyhounds had a tough loss in their season opener against Johns Hopkins which bounced them out of the top 10, but they rebounded this weekend with a huge 15-12 upset over No. 6 Florida. I have to believe that Loyola will be at least inside the top 15 after this weekend and could crack the top 10 again. Syracuse should break into the top 5 as both Florida and Stony Brook suffered defeats this weekend (Seawolves lost to Denver). SU won last year’s game 11-10 in OT and this one will probably be a close one as well.