It was a game in which absolutely nothing went right for SU. There are so many culprits to point to for why this game went off the rails the way it did, but nothing is more disappointing than the performance of the offense in scoring four goals.
The Orange just couldn’t generate anything on offense. They were completely shut down by the Northwestern defense, whom they just couldn’t solve in the 7-on-7. They only mustered 19 shots total for the entire game, 11 of which were gobbled up by goalie Madison Doucette. Some of them were solid looks that Doucette made good saves on, but most of them were low quality looks thrown at the cage after breaking down the defense was unsuccessful.
There was very little movement from ‘Cuse, and most of the time they looked unsure of how to even try to break down the Wildcat defense. They made things worse of themselves by throwing the ball away a lot to the tune of 17 turnovers, but NU does deserve a lot of credit for their defensive effort as they slammed the door shut early on in this game and bolted it tight for good measure.
For my money, they should have tried doing a lot more clear outs for Meaghan Tyrrell or Olivia Adamson to create more open space, because attacking their entire defense wasn’t working at all. Tyrrell was the only one who was able to move the needle at all, as she shot 3-of-7 for the game. The rest of the team was 1-of-12.
The defense and goalie Kimber Hower got off to a bad start in the first quarter. They gave up six goals without Hower making a single save. After the first, they switched over to the zone and started getting a lot more stops, creating turnovers and getting saves from Hower. Honestly, after the first quarter, the defense did its job well enough to keep them in the game, but the offense just never did their’s.
The one area of the game in which SU did okay was draw controls, a battle which they won 12-7. But the problem was that they rarely turned that possession into goals. Mostly, they turned it into wasted offensive possessions or sloppy turnovers.
This is obviously an incredibly disappointing, and stunning, performance to end the season. In the end, I think that this year’s injuries were just too much for this team to overcome. While we saw the Orange make a run to Memorial Day even with the injuries last year, this year’s team just couldn’t get over that hump.
With Emma Tyrrell down for the season and Meg Carney playing hurt, the talent level on this team dropped significantly around late March/early April and the team wasn’t the same after that. Mostly, it just sucks that the injury situation got so bad two years in a row. We’ll just have to hope for better luck next year.