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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Orange cruise to 16-4 win over Pittsburgh in ACC opener

‘Cuse got off to a fast start in conference play against the Panthers.

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship Photo by Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange women's lacrosse team wasted no time on Saturday putting their foot down in a 16-4 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers.

The Orange, playing both their first ACC game and road game of the season, won the first three draws of the game and scored goals on the first three ensuing possessions, all in the game’s first two minutes.

It was literally all ‘Cuse is the game’s opening minutes, and it continued that way all afternoon as they showed their superiority in every phase of the game.

Dominating draw controls and possessions, the Orange scored the first five goals of the game and led 6-1 after the first quarter. Pitt opened the second quarter with a goal, but SU took over from there, scoring six goals in a row to start the running clock and put the game out of reach before getting to halftime up 12-2.

The second half was merely a formality of running clock as ‘Cuse cruised to a win to improve to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in ACC play.

It was a very well balanced scoring effort for SU, as eight players scored a goal, 10 scored a point, seven players scored multiple points, and nobody had more than four points individually.

Meg Carney led the charge with, and you’ll never believe this, four goals. Meg has now scored exactly four goals in every game this season. Emma Ward matched her on points with two goals and two assists, and the two combined for a beautiful quick-stick goal in which Emma fed Meg from X for a beautiful finish.

Emma Tyrrell had a hat trick and Maddy Baxter had a strong day both dodging and passing, finishing with three points (2G, 1A). Sierra Cockerille (2G), Meaghan Tyrrell (2A), and Olivia Adamson (2A) all had two-point days, while Natalie Smith and Jenny Markey each scored a goal.

Kate Mashewske had a huge day as she helped ‘Cuse to a dominating effort on draw controls (something like 16-7) and directly helped produce two first-quarter goals right off draw wins, one of which she scored herself for her first goal of the season.

The defense had another solid day, making life very difficult for Pitt’s offense to get any scoring opportunities at all, let alone quality ones. Their sticks were active, causing ground balls and turnovers, and they collapsed as they always do whenever a pass found its way inside. Pitt was only able to manage 10 shots on goal the entire game.

As a result of the strong zone play, Delaney Sweitzer didn’t have to do all that much, although she was once again great when called upon. She finished the game with five saves while only giving up three goals before being taken out for Kimber Hower.

Speaking of goalies, shout out to former SU goalie Hannah Van Middelem, who had the best game of her career in making 13 saves and holding ‘Cuse to a much lower goal total than they could have had.

All in all, it was an easy, breezy afternoon in the Steel City to start conference play for the ladies. They’ll be back home and facing an in-state foe mid-week when Katie Rowan and the Albany Great Danes come to the JMA Dome on Wednesday, March 1 at 4 PM on ACC Network Extra.