The No. 3 Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team opened up their 2021 NCAA tournament with a huge 20-8 win over the Loyola Greyhounds on Sunday afternoon in the Dome to advance to the quarterfinal round.
What's your favorite color, ours is Orange— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) May 16, 2021
'Cuse defeats Loyola in the second round pic.twitter.com/i2tZP0Fq1O
The Syracuse offense balled out, scoring a season-high 20 goals on their way to routing Loyola for the second time this season. They shot 64.5 percent for the game, the second-best shooting percentage on the season. It was the most goals for SU in a NCAA tournament game since beating Dartmouth, 21-8, in the 2013 tourney.
The team scored in every way imaginable, using the motion offense to dodge, pass and shoot their way to the 20-goal plateau. They also threw in a few spectacular transition goals just for the style points.
Another way they scored goals? Free positions! If you’ve watched this team this year, you know that free-position opportunities are probably the biggest weakness the SU offense has. They came into the day 28-of-66 for the season, only 42 percent. But today, the offense went 6-of-7. It was very encouraging to see them have so much success in an area they’ve struggled so much all season.
Defensively, the Orange also had a big day on free-positions, holding the Greyhounds to a brutally bad 1-of-12. That’s a big effort from Asa Goldstock and the defense, although giving up 12 FP chances is way too many and definitely needs to be cleaned up for next week.
Meaghan Tyrrell led the way, setting a Syracuse record for goals in a NCAA tournament game with seven. She also had three assists for a ridiculous 10-point effort that tied her with Alyssa Murray for the third-most points in a Syracuse postseason game.
Setting records and stuff.— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) May 16, 2021
Meaghan Tyrrell nets her 7️⃣th of the day and sets a new program record for goals in a tournament game! pic.twitter.com/cqF9gsYztk
It was a Tyrrell kind of a day as younger sister Emma Tyrrell had her own huge day with seven points on four goals and three assists. Sam Swart had a first-half hat trick and Emma Ward added two goals and an assist. In total, eight players scored a goal and nine recorded a point in SU’s highest-scoring game of the year.
Ella Simkins had herself a huge day on the defensive end and especially on draw controls, picking up nine draws and adding a caused turnover. Asa Goldstock had another strong day in goal with seven saves and only eight goals let in, one of which was accidentally kicked in by Sarah Cooper.
The team’s got off to an even start in this game, trading the first four goals of the game to make it 2-2 just under eight minutes in. Swart opened the scoring on a nice curl towards the goal, followed by a rocket from Ward on a free-position.
Let it fly Emma, let it fly.— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) May 16, 2021
Watch on ESPN3 pic.twitter.com/DqPjiwM7yd
From there, SU took control and never looked back. The Orange scored the next five goals, and finished the half on an 11-2 run to take a commanding 13-4 lead into the break.
Emma Tyrrell gave ‘Cuse a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish off a free-position just over nine minutes into the game, followed by a beautiful effort from Jenny Markey. The freshman midfielder made a nice cut inside of her defender and fired a shot cross cage to score her only goal of the afternoon.
Loyola stopped the bleeding of the five-goal run only to have the Orange fire back with two goals in 59 seconds. After Emma Ward got her second of the game, Sam Swart scored her second directly off the draw for the second SU goal in 14 seconds, putting the Orange up 9-3.
Another Loyola goal was again answered with authority as SU scored the final four goals of the half, one of which was a phenomenal transition goal started by Asa Goldstock. The SU keeper’s outlet pass was bouncing free near midfield when Sierra Cockerille made a wonderful play by batting it to her left into the stick of Emma Tyrrell. Younger sister quickly looked up field to find older sister running towards goal with no one around her. A few second later, the Orange had yet another goal.
The second half got off to a sluggish start for Syracuse. Two Meaghan Tyrrell goals were all the Orange had through the first 15 minutes, a stretch in which they were actually outscored by the Greyhounds, 3-2.
The offense would find it’s rhythm again, though, in the final quarter of the game as they scored five of the final six goals to put this one away. The Tyrrell sisters scored four of those five goals, including this connection to finish off a fantastic transition goal:
Can't stop 'Cuse in transition— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) May 16, 2021
Asa stopping plays and creating her own
Watch on ESPN3 pic.twitter.com/CNs1F0EkY0
A Maddy Baxter free-position goal started the running clock with over 13 minutes to go, and the clock would run the rest of the game as the Orange cruised to the 12 goal victory.
Highlights from our NCAA 2nd round victory! pic.twitter.com/iQIuqJRpww— Syracuse Women's Lax (@CuseWLAX) May 16, 2021
Have a day (and season), Meaghan Tyrrell
So, we already know that Meaghan set a new program record for goals in a tournament game (7) and tied for third-most points in a tournament game (10). Those numbers also both tied her personal career highs set earlier this season against Louisville.
Meaghan also increased her point total on the season to 96, passing Michelle Tumolo (2010) and Kayla Treanor (2013) for ninth place on the all-time single-season points list. Obviously, she’s now only four points away from becoming just the eighth individual season in program history to reach the 100 points mark.
Additionally, her three assists today now give her 37 on the season, which moves her into a tie with Michelle Tumolo (2010) for seventh-most assists in a single-season in program history.
And her 59 goals now put her just four shy of joining the top-10 single-season goals list, as well.
However you slice it, Meaghan Tyrrell is having a season for the record book.
Syracuse now moves into the NCAA quarterfinals, where they will face a big challenge in the No. 6 seed Florida Gators.
Florida (18-2) has had a great season. They’ve won 15 games in a row and just housed Jacksonville this afternoon, 17-3, in a revenge game for the Gators from earlier this season. Their only other loss came back in February to, you guessed it, North Carolina, 11-5.
Losing to UNC by six is actually a good accomplishment, so it looks like we’re in for quite the matchup next weekend.
The date, time and TV information have not been announced yet, so stay tuned for that. But whenever the game is, be sure to tune in for what sets up as a great matchup in the NCAA quarterfinals. And congrats to the ladies on a tremendous win today!
Let’s Go Orange!!!