In a game that was never really in doubt, the No. 3/4 Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team (11-2, 3-1 ACC) closed the door early on Albany (5-5), cruising to a 19-7 victory on Wednesday evening in the Dome. It was their highest scoring output of the season so far and the win rounds out a three game homestand that started with Harvard last week.
The ‘Cuse drew first blood less than three minutes in when Nicole Levy tossed a behind the back shot past Albany goalie Georgia Schneidereith to give the Orange a 1-0 lead. Albany would answer four minutes later when Sam Tortora drove to goal to knot the game up at 1 with 23:26 left in the half. From this point on, Syracuse was firmly in the driver’s seat.
SU responded to Tortora’s goal by scoring the next six to go ahead 7-1 at the 13:18 mark. Although the Great Danes would get several more goals throughout the rest of the half, the Orange always had a response, which included Julie Cross’ free position goal as time expired. With literally only a second to shoot, the senior midfielder stepped forward and delivered a bullet to the lower right corner of the cage as the clock hit zero and Syracuse took a commanding 12-4 lead going into the break.
Levy also started the ‘Cuse second half scoring a little over a minute in when Mary Rahal elected to pass off on a free position attempt. Rahal flipped the ball to Levy just inside the top of the fan and the senior attacker fired it home to make it 13-4 with 28:44 left in the game.
Following a pair of Albany goals that cut the advantage to 13-6 at the 26:12 mark, the Orange went on a five goal tear that pushed their lead to the largest of the night at 18-6 with 9:36 left. Albany scored a minute later, but Syracuse closed out the scoring for the night when Lexi LeDoyen found Georgia Pesot cutting in front of the goal with about three minutes left to play.
- Shots: Syracuse 33, Albany 10
- Shots on Goal: Syracuse 26, Albany 10
- Turnovers: Albany 18, Syracuse 15
- Clears: Syracuse 14-16, Albany 13-19
- Ground Balls: Syracuse 19, Albany 13
- Draw Controls: Syracuse 20, Albany 7
- Free Position Shots: Albany 1-1, Syracuse 6-9
Levy (4 g), Cross (3 g, 2 a), Meaghan Tyrrell (2 g, 2 a, 1 gb), Rahal (2 g, 1 a), Morgan Alexander (2 g), Emily Hawryschuk (1 g, 1 a, 1 ct, 2 dc), Megan Carney (1 g, 1 a, 1 gb), Cara Quimby, Sierra Cockerille and Mackenzie Baker (1 g, 1 gb each), Pesot (1 g), Sam Swart (1 a, 1 gb), LeDoyen (1 a), Vanessa Costantino (3 gb, 2 ct, 3 dc), Ella Simkins (3 gb, 1 ct), Sarah Cooper (5 ct, 5 dc), Emily Resnick (1 gb, 1 ct, 1 dc), Kerry Defliese, Alexa Radziewicz & Jalyn Jimerson (1 gb, 1 ct each), Kara Gray (1 gb), Rilea Fusco (1 ct), Morgan Widner (7 dc), Braelie Kempney (2 dc), Goldstock (2 gb, 2 saves), Bri Stahrr (1 save)
Depth: 13 Orange players had a hand in some fashion in the scoring on Wednesday evening. Hawryschuk, who leads the team in goals (44) and overall points (55) did not have a major game, but she didn’t really have to. As the stats indicate above, Levy, Cross (who led the team in points tonight), Tyrrell and Rahal (among others) picked up the slack as Syracuse arguably played their most complete game of the season.
This was the first game where everything, as least as far as I could see, clicked. The defense gave Albany very few shot opportunities for the entire game (just 10 shots, all on goal, in 60 minutes) while the offense chugged along, scoring at a steady pace. Hawryschuk and Kempney had decent games in the draw circle, but Widner has really stepped it up in the last couple of contests. Both she and Cross took care of business in the circle on Sunday against Notre Dame, but Widner played a good chunk of the game on Wednesday against the Great Danes and came up with about a third (7) of SU’s 20 draw controls.
So at this point, you have a defense that can rotate several reserves that can keep up pressure, a plethora of players on the offensive end who can score and four players who are increasingly proficient in the draw circle. If the Orange can keep this up, then this is definitely the right time for everything to start coming together with the postseason about a month or so away.
The initial Orange goal is worth taking a closer look at. At the 27:45 mark of the first half, Albany turned the ball over, which Defliese took behind the goal. Defliese sent a short pass upfield to Radziewicz, who found Rahal just outside of the Orange defensive zone. Rahal raced to midfield and sent a long pass towards the restraining line to Cockerille in transition. Cockerille got inside the 12 meter arc and found a wide open Tyrrell just inside the right side of the 8 meter fan.
However, the pass was a bit low and Tyrrell had to drop down to her knees to corral it. Tyrrell saw Levy charging in from the left side of the fan. Taking advantage of the unsettled situation, Tyrrell got up to one knee and managed to get a pass off just as several Albany defenders were recovering and getting back into position. The toss was perfect as Tyrrell found Levy in the middle of three Great Danes. Levy faked a shot, which caught several Albany players off guard and expecting an overhead shot. Levy instead paused for a moment and flicked it back over her left shoulder past Schneidereith just inside the left post. From start to finish, it took only 22 seconds to get it from Defliese to Levy.
Syracuse will travel to Durham, N.C. on Saturday to take on No. 13/12 Duke (8-3, 2-1 ACC) in a big ACC matchup. Game time is at noon ET and it will be streaming on WatchESPN. The Orange had an ugly 17-10 loss to the Blue Devils last year in the Dome. Duke’s common opponents with SU this year have been Northwestern (21-20 loss), Louisville (11-10 2OT win) and Virginia (17-12 loss).