The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team did not waste a moment in making a statement in 2021.
Down in Baltimore, the Orange completely dominated both ends of the field against the Loyola Greyhounds to the tune of a commanding 18-6 road victory to start the season.
SU was led by a quad of performances from graduate student Emily Hawryschuk (4 goals, 1 assist), junior Megan Carney (3 goals, 3 assists), junior Meaghan Tyrrell (3 goals, 2 assists) and senior Sam Swart (4 goals).
The Orange opened up the season scoring just over a minute in as junior midfielder Sierra Cockerille scored on the run to give SU an early 1-0 lead. After Loyola tied it up, Cockerille again made a great play, intercepting a clearing pass and finding Hawryschuk in transition for the graduate student’s first goal of the season.
After Loyola had gotten the score to 3-2 about 13 minutes into the first half, Meaghan Tyrell connected with her younger sister, Emma, for a Sportscenter Top 10 worthy goal. Meaghan zipped a nice pass diagonally through the Loyola defense, where Emma received and went behind-the-back for a spectacular finish to the sister-to-sister goal.
Big sis to little sis! Emma Tyrrell with the nice finish from Meaghan Tyrrell.— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) February 20, 2021
Syracuse 5, Loyola 2 pic.twitter.com/pxfjPk7UoH
The goal wasn’t just aesthetically pleasing, it also kicked off a run that gave ‘Cuse separation they would never relinquish. From the moment that goal was scored, at the 16:54 mark of the first half, the Orange closed the half on a 5-1 run to extend the halftime lead to 8-3.
Although Loyola won first half draw controls 9-3, they could never get their offense in gear as they turned it over 10 times in the opening 30 minutes. A lot of that credit goes to the Syracuse defense, which suffocated the Greyhounds offense and caused many of those mistakes. In fact, they were so stifling that Loyola could only muster six total shots in the first half as compared to the 10 turnovers, and incredible number that speaks to the job the Syracuse defense did.
Syracuse kept the run going to start the second half, winning every early draw control and starting the half on a 5-0 run to bring the lead to 13-3. In total, Emma Tyrrell’s goal kickstarted an incredible 10-1 run between the halves that buried Loyola and started the running clock once ‘Cuse got up by double-digits.
After Loyola got a couple goals back-to-back within about a minute of each other, SU rattled off five more in a row, including the first career goal for true freshman Maddy Baxter.
A look at the final stats show that the Orange controlled basically every aspect of the game. They outshot Loyola 33-14, holding the Greyhounds to single-digit shot attempts in each half. They won the turnover battle, 10-15, and held a big advantage on ground balls, 18-8. They even made a nice comeback on draw controls after a slow start, winning 10 of the 14 second half draws.
Overall, Gary Gait has to be thrilled with this effort, on the road, in game No. 1 against a Top-5 ranked opponent. It’s honestly tough to know which unit should be more pleased with their performance.
The offense was humming, with all the veterans contributors doing exactly what you’d expect them to and picking up where last year’s offense left off scoring 18 goals.
Hawryschuk, Carney, and Tyrrell were all preseason All-Americans for a reason, and they showed it off today by being the top three scorers on the team and combining for 16 points among them.
It wasn’t just powerful offense from Syracuse. It was also smart offense. The team recognized that Loyola goalie Kaitlyn Larsson was struggling to make saves low, and so that’s exactly where the players shot attempt after attempt. They bounced a few in and shot for the legs, and it worked beautifully as the team shot an incredible 18-33 (54.5) on the day.
The defense was just as if not more impressive, holding Loyola to only 14 total shots while the Greyhounds committed 15 turnovers, 10 of which were forced by a suffocating Orange defense. They literally held them to more turnovers than shots.
And while giving up only six goals is a very impressive effort, it’s actually even better than that. Three of Loyola’s goals were scored off free position restarts, which means that SU only gave up three goals all game from the run-of-play, one of which was a garbage time goal after graduate student goalie Asa Goldstock was taken out.
Speaking of Goldstock, she only made four saves on the day, since her defense made it so difficult for Loyola to shoot, but every single one of them was highlight reel worthy. A solid day for the graduate student in net and an amazing day for the defense as a whole.
Syracuse will be back in action next Saturday, February 27 at 10 AM when it plays another highly-ranked opponent, No. 6 ranked Stony Brook, in the team’s home opener. The ladies will have revenge on their minds in that one, as Stony Brook was the only team to defeat the Orange last season in a thriller, 17-16.