Well, I genuinely don’t know how to balance being happy that Syracuse won the game versus being upset at how frustrating all of that was to watch. I guess that’s the old glass half full or empty debate.
In the end, a day of legacy honoring concluded with a down-to-the-wire victory for the No. 3 Syracuse Orange women's lacrosse team, as they barely held on to beat No. 4 Stony Brook, 12-11.
FINAL from the Dome ‼️ pic.twitter.com/hX0czqUwAQ— Syracuse Women's Lacrosse (@CuseWLAX) February 20, 2022
It was looking like the Orange were going to put the game away in the final few minutes after Emma Tyrrell scored on a gorgeous bouncer to the far lower right corner of the goal while SU had a woman-up. But the goal was disallowed because of an illegal stick, and a penalty was committed in the ensuing transition to eventually give Stony Brook their own woman-up.
Thankfully, the Orange were able to force a turnover and run out the game clock, but it was quite the escape job on an evening in which the Orange ladies were far from their best version of themselves.
It was a frustrating game in many respects, especially on the offensive end of the field. At times, the Orange offense looked unstoppable. They went on two separate 4-0 runs that combined to cover about 10 minutes of the game. But in the other 50 minutes, they only mustered four combined goals. There were large pockets of the game where ‘Cuse just couldn’t press the right buttons, leading to bad turnovers and bad shots that Stony Brook goalie Charlie Campbell was more than happy to turn away.
To be fair, Campbell was on her game and definitely played a huge role in holding SU to only 12, but there was just too much inconsistency from an offense that’s way too talented to only score 12 goals in one game.
The defense continued to show some of the early season struggles that you would expect from a unit replacing all but one of its starters from last year. I lost count of how many times a Stony Brook offensive player ran unguarded through the middle of the SU zone. The Seawolves capitalized on those chances plenty of times, but they also left a handful of those chances on the table. It definitely could have looked worse for the SU defense if not for some good fortune. Although, that being said, they did give up only 11 goals to a good Stony Brook offense. If they clean their rotations up, they’ll still have a chance to be a solid unit.
The Megs once again led the charge, as Meg Carney scored seven points (3G, 4A) and Meaghan Tyrrell scored five (4G, 1A) to continue her incredible start to the season. Emily Hawryschuk looked to be moving around better on her way to a three point day (2G, 1A), and Emma Tyrrell had a nice all-around day (1G, 2A) despite the stick issue. Olivia Adamson had an important second half, scoring two goals, including the eventual game winner.
Another problem for SU offensively was that those were the only five players to record even a single point on the day. If the Orange is going to get to where they want to go, they’re going to need to be able to consistently rely on more than Meaghan, Meg, Emily and Emma.
Highlights from the win against Stony Brook pic.twitter.com/yko1BiGzYe— Syracuse Women's Lacrosse (@CuseWLAX) February 20, 2022
The Orange offense started slowly in this one, only able to muster an Emily Hawryschuk free-position goal in the first 14 minutes.
In the final minute of the quarter, however, the Tyrrell sisters took over as Emma found Meaghan who finished expertly in the upper right corner. In the waning seconds, the roles were reversed as Meaghan found Emma in transition for the finish with less than three seconds left in the quarter to push SU ahead, 3-2.
The run continued in the opening minutes of the second, as Meg Carney found Hawryschuk right in front of cage after Emily ghosted away from her defender. A minute later, Carney found Meaghan in the same position for another score, pushing ‘Cuse ahead, 5-2.
That fiery burst was quickly extinguished, however, as the Orange struggled to score for the rest of the half, allowing Stony Brook to close the half on a 3-1 run and tighten up the score, 6-5, at the break.
The Orange came out strong to start the second half, getting goals from Carney and Meaghan Tyrrell in the opening five minutes, but Stony Brook fired back with three goals in the span of a minute to take a 9-8 lead halfway through the third.
The second half of the third quarter ended up being the most important of the game for SU, as they scored four goals in a row to take a 12-9 advantage on the back of two goals from Adamson and one each from Carney and Meaghan. A decision that coincided with that run was Kayla’s decision to insert Hawryschuk temporarily to take draw controls as Katelyn Mashewske was struggling so much at that point. Emily won 2-of-3 that she took, and it just so happened to help kick off the 4-0 run.
Olivia Adamson’s goal with 23 seconds left in the third would incredibly be the Orange’s last of the game, as their offensive frustrations reached their apex in a scoreless fourth quarter. Thankfully, Stony Brook only scored two goals as SU was able to outlast the Seawolves and run out the clock to pick up the hard-fought win.
There is a lot for Kayla Treanor and company to work on coming out of this one, and they’ll need to work fast with a trip to Notre Dame coming up in less than a week this coming Saturday, February 26 at 6PM.