Following their lengthy road trip that spanned three games over nine days, the No. 4/4 Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team had a quick turnaround for their next game against Harvard on Tuesday afternoon. The Orange (9-2, 2-1 ACC) never trailed in their contest with the Crimson (4-4), posting a 15-6 win in the Dome to start a three game home stretch.
Emily Hawryschuk started the scoring for the ‘Cuse two and a half minutes in when she came around from behind the cage and fired one past Harvard goalie Grace Rotondo and SU led 1-0. This began a four goal run that lasted through the first nine minutes of the game. Harvard closed the gap several minutes later with back to back goals by Hannah Keating and Katie Muldoon to cut the Orange lead in half at 4-2 with 18 minutes left in the first half. Syracuse answered with another run of three goals to push the lead out to 7-2 at the 8:02 mark. The two teams traded a goal over the next six minutes to make it 8-3 before the Orange broke the game open with a pair of buzzer beaters. Hawryschuk took a Nicole Levy pass in front of the goal to just beat out the shot clock with 24 seconds left. Morgan Alexander followed up just a few seconds later with a bullet free position shot to the right side of the cage with just one tick left in the half and Syracuse would take a 10-3 lead into the break.
This was part of a seven goal run that lasted through the first ten minutes of the second half. Hawryschuk, Alexander and Sierra Cockerille would continue the 2nd half scoring to push the lead out to 14-3 with just 19:43 left in the game. Harvard finally broke a 16 minute scoring drought when Grace Huslander got one past Asa Goldstock with 16:39 left. Harvard did manage to get a pair of goals late against the Orange reserves to stop a running clock situation, but Rilea Fusco snuck in from behind the cage and sent an underhand shot that rolled past Rotondo with 1:09 left to round out the scoring.
- Shots: Syracuse 31, Harvard 22
- Shots on Goal: Syracuse 22, Harvard 15
- Turnovers: Harvard 13, Syracuse 10
- Clears: Harvard 15-17, Syracuse 16-19
- Ground Balls: Syracuse 11, Harvard 11
- Draw Controls: Syracuse 16, Harvard 6
- Free Position Shots: Syracuse 2-7, Harvard 1-6
Hawryschuk (4 g, 10 dc), Alexander (3 g), Meaghan Tyrrell (2 g, 1 a, Cockerille (2 g), Levy (4 a), Megan Carney (2 a, 1 gb), Mary Rahal (1 g, 1 gb), Vanessa Costantino (1 g, 1 dc), Fusco and Sam Swart (1 g each), Allyson Trice (3 gb, 1 ct), Kerry Defliese (1 gb, 2 ct), Natalie Wallon (1 gb, 1 ct, 1 dc), Sarah Cooper (1 ct, 1 dc), Grace Fahey and Lila Nazarian (1 gb each), Braelie Kempney (2 dc), Ella Simkins (1 dc), Goldstock (2 gb, 5 saves), Bri Stahrr (2 saves)
Turning Point (kind of)
Keeley MacAfee’s free position goal at the 3:07 mark of the first half kept Harvard in the game, trailing only 7-3. The Orange had held a three to five goal lead throughout much of this time, but could not put the game away. A little over a minute after the Crimson score, Swart darted in from the right side of the fan on a free position attempt and bounced a shot past Rotondo to bump the SU lead back to 8-3. That goal set up the dagger when Hawryschuk scored with just one second left on the shot clock and 24 left in the half followed by Alexander’s free position shot with just one second left in the half. These three goals in the last two minutes (and two in 30 seconds) transformed a solid lead into a 10-3 halftime advantage that clearly took the wind out of Harvard’s sails. While the Orange extended that lead well into the second half, the Crimson were able to manage just one score over a 31 minute period before getting a pair of goals in the last few minutes of the game.
Emily Hawryschuk: The junior attacker was able to drive inside repeatedly against the Harvard defense and tallied four goals on the day, including a key goal with 24 seconds left in the 1st half. The Crimson couldn’t find an answer to her in the draw circle either as she grabbed another 10 draws. She currently leads the team in both of these categories with 39 goals and 36 draws (as well as overall points with 48).
Depth: Syracuse just finished a three game road trip that took them to Maryland, Florida and Kentucky over the space of nine days. The former two came down to the wire. If that wasn’t enough, they then had to get back to Syracuse after their Sunday afternoon matchup against Louisville to take the field against Harvard 48 hours later. A lot of players were rotated in yesterday and most of the Orange starters (at least on offense) were off the field by around the 15 minute mark of the 2nd half. This is important as SU needs the ensuing three day rest before they take on Notre Dame on Saturday in a key ACC matchup. However, it’s also clear that the conditioning of the players enables them to play this type of an overall schedule without running into too many fatigue problems. But it also shows how much faith that Coach Gary Gait has in his reserves.
Defense: It was another stellar day for the defense. The starters allowed only three goals throughout roughly 50 minutes of play, though statwise, it was pretty quiet. Harvard had a hard time finding openings against the ‘Cuse backline while Goldstock had another good game with five saves against four goals for a 55% save rate. She currently has a 46% save rate for the year.
The Orange continue a three game homestand on Saturday when they face no. 8/12 Notre Dame in a big ACC matchup. The Irish are currently 8-0, including 10-9 come from behind win over Virginia on Saturday in Charlottesville. They did have a game last night against Vanderbilt and won 18-6. Notre Dame has a very experienced squad this year and a stingy defense that is giving up less than six goals a game. Given how Syracuse’s defense has performed this season so far, this could very well be a low-scoring defensive contest. Due to the women’s basketball team hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAAT this weekend, this game will not be played in the Dome but at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. Game time is at noon EST. The weather is supposed to be in the 30s on Saturday with the possibility of snow in the morning (60% chance with an 80% chance on Friday night according to WIXT weather).