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No. 3 Syracuse women’s lacrosse blows out Albany, 16-6

The Orange improved to 9-1 in their final non-conference game of the regular season.

Stony Brook v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Another Tuesday afternoon, another easy non-conference win.

The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team (9-1, 5-1) hit the road for a midweek game in the Capital Region, and took it to the Albany Great Danes in a big way, scoring the first 12 goals of the game and leading 12-0 at the half on their way to a 16-6 final score.

Although it took the team almost nine minutes to get their first goal, the result of this one was determined well before we even got to halftime.

To give you an idea of exactly how the first half went, Syracuse scored 12 goals on 60 percent shooting (12-of-20), while Albany had twice as many turnovers (12) as they did shots (6) in the first half. And if you noticed, the Orange had 12 GOALS vs. 6 SHOTS total for the Great Danes. Now that is domination.

The game was so much in-hand that coach Gait sat down Asa Goldstock at halftime and switched to a (wo)man-to-(wo)man defense in the second half just for the heck of it (just kidding — he actually wanted the team to get practice playing man instead of their patented high-pressure zone).

All-in-all, it was a really strong effort from the Orange against a good, but over-matched, Albany team.

The offense was led on the day, and you guys’ll never believe this, by Meaghan Tyrrell and Megan Carney. Tyrrell tied her career-high with seven points (5G, 2A), while Carney had six points (5G, 1A). Freshman Emma Ward had a huge day, as well, setting a new career high with seven points (1G, 6A), including six assists. Many of those were of the spectacular variety.

Elsewhere, there were a couple of firsts: one from a freshman and one from a senior. Freshman Maddy Baxter recorded her first career hat trick, while senior defender Grace Fahey scored the first goal of her career on a first-half free-position.

The Game

The game got off to a very sloppy start for both teams. By my count, seven of the first eight possessions ended in turnovers before Meaghan Tyrrell finally opened up the scoring almost nine minutes in.

From there, the Orange offense just took over. Megan Carney scored back-to-back goals in 28 seconds, followed by Grace Fahey’s first career goal to make it 4-0 SU.

A few minutes later, Tyrrell scored back-to-back goals of her own to increase the lead to 7-0, the second of which came on a beautiful skip pass from Ward right to the doorstep, one of her excellent assists on the day.

A few more minutes later, Tyrrell scored her fourth of the half, this time on a feed from Sam Swart. It was an incredible finish, as Meaghan took the pass while facing away from the cage before scoring on a backhanded shovel shot.

Ward and Carney found each other for goals 10 and 11 of the half, and Maddy Baxter capped the 12-0 halftime lead with 21 seconds remaining off an amazing behind-the-back feed from Emma Ward.

The second half began with Gary Gait shaking things up on the defensive end, taking Goldstock out and putting in backup Hannah Van Middelem, and having his defense go away from their zone to practice playing woman-to-woman defense.

It was a struggle for the SU defense, as Albany started the second half by scoring the first five goals to make it a 12-5 SU lead.

It took them a while, but the Orange offense finally woke back up to answer with a four-goal run of their own on goals by Tyrrell, two from Carney, and Maddy Baxter getting her hat trick.

The Takeaway

Syracuse lacrosse > Albany lacrosse

Also, it was super interesting to see coach Gait go with the “woman” defense in this one. It was definitely unexpected, especially since the Orange has played zone all season and played it so well, for the most part.

But clearly Gait wanted to see how the team did out of the zone, in case they ever need to go away from it in a big game later this season because a team is having success against it.

The results of the woman-to-woman, though, were disappointing. That was the only time in the game when Albany was actually able to get something going offensively. In the first half against the zone, they couldn’t stop turning it over, leading to twice as many turnovers as shots. But in the second half, they were able to put five goals home against the zone-less defense.

I can’t imagine we’re going to see too much of the “woman” defense the rest of this season, especially because the zone is what they always play and because they are so used to it and good at it. But it will be interesting to see if they implement it at any point this weekend in the two Louisville games.

Quick Hits

  • Emma Ward’s seven points were a career high.
  • Her six assists were the most for an Orange player since Kayla Treanor had six against Jacksonville in 2014.
  • The six assists is also tied for the fifth most in a single game in SU history
  • Meaghan Tyrrell scored seven points for the third time this season. She leads the team in goals (57) and goals (38). She’s also in the Top 5 in the ACC in points (2nd), goals (3rd), and assists (5th) per game.

The Next Game

The ladies will be back to ACC play this weekend as their three-game road trip continues in Louisville, KY against the Louisville Cardinals.

They will play two games, with the first coming on Friday, April 16 at 3 PM. The second will be Sunday, April 18 at 12 PM.

There is currently no TV listed for the games, but they will most likely either be on ACC Network or ACC Network Extra. Be sure to tune in and, as always...

Let’s Go Orange!!!