On Thursday, the Maryland Terrapins informed the Syracuse Orange that their women’s lacrosse team would not be travelling north to face SU in the Dome on Friday. There was a massive lake effect band to the north of Syracuse hitting the area east of Lake Ontario pretty hard (the Tug Hill Plateau wound up with four feet of snow). However, the band was not supposed to turn south until much later in the evening (and would weaken considerably by then). But it was seen (by the Terps) as enough of a threat that Maryland decided not to risk the trip.
Undeterred, SU decided that if the Terrapins would not come to them, they would head south to play. The matchup was changed to early Saturday afternoon in College Park, Md., leading to probably one of the strangest “home” games the Orange have played. However, the story has a happy ending for No. 4/4 Syracuse as they used a late 2nd half push to beat No. 9/9 Maryland 10-5 on a chilly afternoon in College Park.
The ‘Cuse (6-1) drew first blood when Meaghan Tyrrell found the back of the net just a few minutes in. This score was followed by Emily Hawryschuk and Sierra Cockerille over the next ten minutes and the Orange had a 3-0 advantage at the 17:56 mark of the first half.
Both defenses and goalies were already playing solid and from this point on they really clamped down. The only goal for the rest of the half was a man-down goal by Hawryschuk at the 9:01 mark and Syracuse took a 4-0 lead into the break.
Although they were completely shut down in the first half, the Terrapins wasted very little time at the start of the second. Hannah Warther put Maryland on the board just 47 seconds in to make it a 4-1 contest. Tyrrell for SU responded 80 seconds later when she put a low bounce shot inside the right pipe on a free position.
The Orange offense went dormant for almost the next 13 minutes while the Terrapins closed the deficit. A three goal spurt over six and a half minutes by Grace Griffin and Brindi Griffin cut the ‘Cuse lead to 5-4 with 19:06 left. Hawryschuk and Hannah Leubecker traded goals to keep it a one score game six minutes later.
SU’s defense stepped up while the offense extended their advantage. Hawryschuk and Megan Carney both had goals that put the Orange up 8-5 with just 7:31 remaining. Sam Swart drove the dagger in when she dodged a Maryland defender and streaked up the middle, sending a point blank bounce shot past goalie Maddie McSally. Hawryschuk finished all scoring for the day at the two minute mark.
- Shots: Syracuse 27, Maryland 22
- Shots on Goal: Syracuse 23, Maryland 13
- Turnovers: Maryland 20, Syracuse 17
- Clears: Syracuse 18-22, Maryland 16-21
- Ground Balls: Maryland 22, Syracuse 19
- Draw Controls: Syracuse 10, Maryland 8
- Free Positions: Syracuse 2-6, Maryland 2-7
Hawryschuk (5 g, 1 a, 2 gb, 1 ct), Tyrrell (2 g, 2 gb), Swart (1 g, 1 a), Carney (1 g, 1 gb), Cockerille (1 g), Lila Nazarian (3 gb, 2 ct), Ella Simkins (2 gb, 1 ct, 2 dc), Grace Fahey (1 gb, 1 ct, 4 dc), Bianca Chevarie (2 gb, 1 ct, 1 dc), Vanessa Costantino (1 gb, 1 ct), Sarah Cooper (1 ct, 1 dc), Kerry Defliese & Mary Rahal (1 gb each), Allyson Trice (1 ct), Morgan Widner & Danielle Marino (1 dc each), Asa Goldstock (3 gb, 8 saves)
The Turning Point
Although Syracuse never trailed in this game, the Terrapins made a run in the early-mid second half that closed the gap to a single goal twice. The high water mark for Maryland crested at the 13:20 mark when Leubecker tried to weave inside several Orange defenders and drew a free position attempt. The freshman attacker lined up on the 8 meter hash next to the extreme right of the arc. She raced in and put a low bouncing shot between Goldstock and the left pipe for the score and the Terps were down only 6-5.
Maryland won the ensuing draw control and proceeded to set up a play. However, a pass from Brooke Robbins to Leubecker was mishandled by the latter and scooped up by Rahal. The redshirt senior midfielder raced up the middle of the field until she was between the restraining line and the 12 meter fan. In that moment of the unsettled situation, she passed to Carney** who was just inside of the left center of the fan. Hawryschuk had moved to the left side of the goal line extended. The Terrapin defender covering Hawryschuk started to push up and block off Carney’s angle towards the goal. The sophomore attacker saw the opportunity and promptly dumped it off to the senior attacker, now wide open. Hawryschuk took a couple of steps and put the shot past McSally for the goal. Syracuse was back up by a pair at 7-5 just 80 seconds after the Leubecker score.
Maryland won the draw following that goal and had a chance to cut it to one, but a free position shot by Darby Welsh went high over the crossbar and the Orange regained possession. Both teams each had good opportunities to score over the next several minutes, but couldn’t get shots past the goalies. The first was a two on one break for Syracuse. Hawryschuk passed off to Carney on a transition, who shot low. But the ball bounced off of McSally’s foot and the danger passed for the Terrapins. Maryland also had an excellent chance to score shortly after that when Leubecker dodged several Orange defenders and put a low shot on cage. Goldstock reacted quickly, dropped to her knees and made a big save that turned the Terps away for a second time.
The ‘Cuse finally broke the impasse when Carney swung inside the arc and whipped a shot past McSally from about 5-6 meters out. The Orange had extended their lead back to three at 8-5 with 7:31 remaining. In a five minute stretch, Syracuse turned a potentially dangerous situation into an advantageous one. Maryland would not have another shot on goal from that point on and Swart’s score at the 4:01 mark effectively sealed the win for SU.
*Writer’s note: Swart was credited with the assist on this goal, but she was behind Rahal when the latter made the dump off pass. Although it is difficult to tell who passed to Hawryschuk (hard to see the number, but I’m pretty sure it was Carney), but it definitely was not Swart.
Defense and Goalies: The Syracuse defense gave Maryland a goose egg for the entire first half and for the final 13:20 of the contest. Granted, this is not the Terrapin team of years past, but it’s still impressive. Maryland had a very hard time getting shots on goal in the first half and for portions of the second. When they did, they ran into a solid wall in Goldstock. The senior goalie had eight saves against five goals, including a key one (noted above) at the 8:42 mark of the second half. Arguably, that was probably the biggest save of the day for her as it would have brought the Terps once again within a goal and could have changed the late game. McSally for Maryland also had a big day on the other end with 13 saves against ten goals. A lesser performance would have resulted in a larger margin of victory and could have put the game away much sooner for the Orange.
Turnovers: The defense had something to do with these, but there was certainly some sloppy play by both teams on both ends. Syracuse ended up with 17 on the day, 14 of which were caused by Maryland. The Terps had 20, of which over half were unforced. This was particularly true in the first half as the Maryland offense had a number of errant passes.
Hawryschuk: The senior came through once again for the Orange and scored on a man-down situation and was responsible for three of the final five SU goals. This is her final year and it’s clear that she’s making the most of it.
An Unplanned Trip: As stated above, this game was supposed to be played in the Dome. Instead, it was at College Park and this team had barely a day to get mentally reoriented from the surprise of the change of venue, hop on a bus and travel down to Maryland for a contest that was in the low to mid 40’s temperature wise throughout the match. Even though this is a young Terrapin squad, they’re still dangerous and this could have had a problematic outcome. It didn’t and the Orange have now finished February with a pair of big wins and a light March schedule of four games (though the last will be against a very good Notre Dame team).
Streak Broken: On Saturday, Syracuse broke a 12 game losing streak that spanned seven years. It is only the second time the Orange have beaten Maryland and both times have been at College Park. The last time SU beat the Terrapins was in 2012 by a 10-9 score on their way to their first national championship appearance.
Syracuse has the rest of the week off before they start their ACC schedule against No. 23/RV Virginia Tech (6-1, 1-0) Sunday, March 8. This game will be part of the Crown Lacrosse Classic (two men’s games, one women’s game) and will be in Charlotte, N.C. Game time is 1:30 p.m. ET and as of this time, there is no indication of any live stream (I’m assuming eventually something will be in place).