On Sunday afternoon, the No. 3 Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team cemented their dominance over the No. 15 Louisville Cardinals, blowing them out, 19-7, for the second time in the two-game, weekend series.
Syracuse put up 19 goals in both games, winning in authoritative fashion to improve their record to 11-1 (7-1) on the season.
It's been a good weekend for the . pic.twitter.com/4vkR9S0vzF— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) April 18, 2021
Although they ultimately won easily both times, the game script followed a different path this time. While Friday’s game was close through most of the first half before SU scored the final 13 goals of the game to get the win, the Orange wasted no time putting the game out of reach on Sunday.
Syracuse scored 10 of the first 11 goals to end any drama before the game was even 20 minutes old.
It was SU’s most balanced offensive day of the season, as a season-high nine different players scored a goal for the team. And that’s not including leading goal scorer Meaghan Tyrrell, who had a career-high five assists but did not score a goal.
The suffocating defense had another excellent day, forcing 17 Louisville turnovers after the Cards committed an obscene 27 on Friday. In the two games combined, the Orange held Louisville to almost FOUR TIMES as many turnovers (44) as goals (12)
The balanced offense was led by four different players scoring five points: Megan Carney (4G, 1A), Emma Tyrrell (4G, 1A), Sierra Cockerille (2G, 3A) and Meaghan Tyrrell (5A). The Tyrrell sisters both set career highs on the day, with Meaghan’s five assists and Emma’s four goals and five points.
Emma Ward added a hat trick, and Emily Ehle (1G, 1A), Cara Quimby (2G) and Ella Simkins (2A) all had multiple point days.
Syracuse opened up the scoring with back-to-back goals from graduate student Cara Quimby, her first two goals of the year. Sierra Cockerille scored her first goal in four games to make it 3-0, before Louisville got on the board with a free-position goal scored by Hannah Morris at the 19:05 mark. That goal ended a drought of 47 minutes, 34 seconds that the Cardinals went between goals going back to the Friday game, a remarkable stretch for Syracuse’s defense.
That proved to be only a quick moment of relief for the Cardinals, as SU quickly scored the next seven goals in seven minutes to bring the lead up to 10-1.
Interestingly, the Orange offense showed it’s flexibility and depth in this game. While the Tyrrell-Carney duo scored 14 of the 19 goals on Friday, in this game, the first seven goals for SU were scored by other members of the offense before Carney finally scored.
It’s a great thing for this Syracuse offense to remind everyone that they are so much more than just the Megs. Any defense will naturally spend a lot of their time focusing on those two, but this was a reminder that there is a ton more talent on this offense that must be dealt with or else they will make you pay.
As part of that run, Jenny Markey and Emily Ehle scored to make it five goals on SU’s first six shots of the game before Emma Ward scored her first of the day on a fantastic individual effort. She picked up a scrappy ground ball near the crease, rolled away from a defender, and scored five-hole while she fell to the turf. Fantastic stuff from Ward:
Emma Ward! pic.twitter.com/R9itPKxag3— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) April 18, 2021
Ward and Carney combined for the next four goals in quick succession to put the Orange up 10-1.
With under eight minutes to go in the half, Louisville actually sprung to life by scoring four of the final five goals to bring the halftime lead down to 11-5 for Syracuse.
That clearly didn’t sit too well with coach Gait or the team, as Emma Tyrrell came out firing in the second half, scoring three goals in three minutes to set her career high and put the Orange back on top by nine.
Louisville stopped that three-goal run, but then immediately found another one as ‘Cuse rattled off five more goals to put their final stamp on the game and the weekend against Louisville.
Megan Carney’s fourth and SU’s 17th goal of the day was a wonderful behind-the-back finish that kind of exemplified exactly what the Orange did on the field this weekend:
We’re running out of adjectives.— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) April 18, 2021
Watch on ACCNX. pic.twitter.com/KRffPAWCt2
Yes, just like that Carney goal, Syracuse’s series against Louisville was fast, furious, and spectacular from and Orange perspective.
Folks, those of us who have enjoyed watching this lacrosse team play this season are in for a real treat next weekend.
Syracuse is returning home for the final weekend of the regular season for a huge, Top-5 matchup with the No. 5 (soon to be No. 4) Boston College Eagles.
For those of you who haven’t been following BC, they have had a fantastic season that has mirrored Syracuse’s in a number of ways. Most prominently, the Eagles have the same overall and conference record as the Orange (11-1, 7-1), with both teams’ only defeat coming at the hands of No. 1 North Carolina.
Yes, both teams have beaten every other team in the ACC and have lost to the Tar Heels, setting up an incredible battle for second place this weekend in the Dome.
It’s going to be a matchup of two of the best offenses in the country. To give you an idea, BC just scored 19 and 18 on Notre Dame this weekend; incredibly impressive numbers against another Top-5 team in the Irish.
BC is led by Charlotte North, who in my opinion, is the best lacrosse player in the country this year. Now, I haven’t seen everybody play, including Izzy Scane at Northwestern who’s leading the country at over eight points per game, but what I’ve seen from Charlotte North has been mind-bending.
She possesses an incredible combination of athleticism, power, speed, stick skills, and IQ that I think makes her the most dangerous player in the game. Simply put: she does things on the lacrosse field that I haven’t seen anyone else this year do.
Staying with her one-on-one looks to be impossible, which is why it’s going to be fascinating to watch Syracuse’s zone approach defending her and BC.
She’s scary, and even worse, she’s got a strong supporting cast that is more than capable of producing wins even without her. In BC’s two games against Louisville earlier this season, the Cardinals decided to key on North, holding her to only one goal in the two games. Great job Cards! Only problem? BC still scored 14 and 18 in the two games without North’s production.
Something else? North is also the draw control taker for BC, which is terrifying given the injuries Syracuse has sustained at that position this season. Braelie Kempney and Katelyn Mashewske have gone down with recent injuries and have not returned since, in addition to Emily Hawryschuk’s season-ending injury.
Unless Kempney or Mashewske come back, the Orange are going into this game with just two healthy draw controllers in Morgan Widner and Kenzie Harris. It’s a scary proposition to go against North, who is as fierce as she is talented. If SU lets North dominate on draws, the SU defense could be in for a long day against a very tough BC offense.
The bottom line is we’ve got two of the best teams in the country doing battle twice in one weekend.
It’s going to be awesome to see, and it all starts this Thursday, April 22, 6PM on ESPNU.
A little primetime, televised lacrosse for the women’s lacrosse team? Yes, please!
Let’s Go Orange!!!