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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Orange make statement in 20-11 domination of No. 2 Maryland

‘Cuse’s season is off to a flying start after picking up their second top-5 win in as many chances.

That was one of the loudest, most authoritative statements imaginable.

Strike that. This type of win was beyond imagination.

The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team completely dominated the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins on Friday afternoon in a 20-11 trashing in the JMA Wireless Dome to pick up their second top-5 win in less than a week to begin the season.

Pick an aspect, any aspect, and I tell you the Orange controlled it in this game.

Playing against a Maryland team known for their great defense that’s lined with All-Americans and gave up fewer than eight goals per game last season, the Orange only had one question: What defense?

On offense, ‘Cuse was unstoppable, scoring in virtually any way they desired. They dodged from X for goals. They dodged from up top and the wing for goals. They displayed superior passing skills. They got creative with a hidden ball trick. They even scored multiple woman-down goals, including one where they were down 5-on-7. First-team All-American goalie Emily Sterling was powerless to stop it.

Meaghan Tyrrell, being guarded by many people’s choice as the preseason defender of the year in Abby Bosco, literally had the highest-scoring game of her career. She once again led the attack with an insane, career-high 11 points on an evenly distributed six goals and five assists. Did anyone have double hat trick on their bingo card in this game?

Sierra Cockerille had one of the best games of her career, displaying great athleticism on her way to a five-point day (2G, 3A). Meg Carney had four goals for the second game in a row. Emma Tyrrell (2G, 1A) and Emma Ward (1G, 2A) each had three points as both started to play more on their way back from injuries. Olivia Adamson and Maddy Baxter each added two goals.

To be fair to Maryland’s defense, they were without a huge piece in All-American Marge Donovan, who missed the game with an injury. But at the end of the day, it’s difficult to argue with 20 goals scored.

Kate Mashewske had a much better day on draws than she did last week. It wasn’t a completely dominating effort for Kate, as SU won a tight draw battle 18-16, but she won a ton of draws to herself (13 individual draw wins) and did exactly what she needed to do in giving the Orange the possession advantage. Is this the kind of result they can get when they actually have the ball more? Yikes!

The defense got off to a slow start in the first quarter, but really picked it up as the game went on. They were especially good from the run of play when the refs weren’t blowing the whistle and calling three-second violations on the Orange zone. Less than half (5) of Maryland’s goals came from the run of play, a testament to the whole unit.

Delaney Sweitzer was once again incredible in goal. She had 13 saves, finishing the game with an outstanding .542 save percentage against Maryland. On top of that, a lot of those saves came off free-position shots; no easy task.

If there was one area to complain about in this game, it’s that, for the second game in a row, the defense gave up far too many free-position opportunities to the opponent. They gave up 13 in total, and the story of this game could have been quite different if not for Sweitzer stepping up huge and stopping them from converting too many of those chances.

The first half of this game was fast and furious from the opening draw. In the first quarter, there were very few possessions by either team that didn’t end in a goal. The Orange were the hot team early, opening up a 6-2 lead on the back of some great dodging and ball movement. But Maryland struck back with three straight goals in the final 72 seconds to end the quarter with a 6-5 SU lead.

The second quarter was mostly controlled by ‘Cuse, as the home team scored five of the six goals in the quarter to take an 11-6 lead into the half after an excellent half of lacrosse from the Orange.

The third quarter was all Orange, again. They won the quarter, 5-2, including a pair of woman-down goals to go up 16-8 going to the fourth.

SU won the fourth, 4-3, to hold on to the commanding victory over the No. 2 team in the country.

The ladies will be back in action at the beginning of next week, when they host the Binghamton Bearcats on Monday, February 20 at 4 PM on ACC Network Extra.