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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Orange ride defense to 15-7 win over No. 12 Notre Dame

There was a bit of a hiccup in the third quarter, but outside of that the Orange controlled the game.

The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team kept the train rolling on their season with a 15-7 win over the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon to match their best start to a season in program history at 7-0 (3-0 ACC).

Other than a difficult third quarter in which SU gave up a 4-0 Irish run, the day belonged to the Orange. Even with that run, ND never got closer than four goals in the second half thanks to an 11-3 lead that ‘Cuse had built up. A 4-0 fourth quarter ensured another big win for the ladies.

The defense was absolutely phenomenal on the day. They looked like the 2021 Syracuse defense all over again, collapsing like vultures on Notre Dame any time they tried to find the middle of the zone. They moved quickly and efficiently, and their sticks were all over the place, trail checking all day long to force loose balls and negate a ton of ND possessions.

They created havoc for most the game, which led to the Irish finishing with the same amount of total shots as they had turnovers (19). An incredible 14 of those turnovers were caused by the active Orange sticks, which also helped lead to a season-high 24 ground balls.

Four players had multiple CTs: Delaney Sweitzer (3), Katie Goodale (3), Natalie Smith (2), and Tessa Queri (2). Sweitzer had another incredible day, finishing with eight saves and a .533 save percentage. She also had six GBs and the three CTs. Hallie Simkins had four GBs and one CT. Bianca Chevarie had three GBs and one CT. Goodale had two GBs, three CTs, and three DCs.

Everyone on defense got involved in a performance that ended with Notre Dame scoring seven goals. A fantastic effort from Caitlin Defliese’s group.

The offense had somewhat of an uneven day, particularly by their standards. There were two things that stood out for me on the negative side. First, they turned the ball over too many times; 18 to be exact as they got a little sloppy.

The other issue was the third quarter, where they went into hibernation after an early second half goal put them up 11-3. This was when the Irish went on their 4-0 spurt as the ‘Cuse offense went over 16 minutes without a goal. That’s an eternity for this group.

Overall, though, they put up 15 goals on a day when they turned it over 18 times. When they weren’t turning it over, the ball movement and the shooting were about as exceptional as ever with this team. They finished with 12 assists on the 15 goals (80 percent assist rate) and shot 15-of-29 (.517 SH%).

The catalyst on the day was Emma Ward (1G, 7A), who was everywhere as she distributed her way to career highs in assists and points. She finished with seven assists and a rocket of a goal from more than 10 yards out for a massive eight points.

With Emma as the distributor, the trio of Meaghan Tyrrell (4G), Meg Carney (4G) and Emma Tyrrell (3G) played the role of finishers. That group scored 11 of the team’s 15 goals to lead the goal-scoring charge.

Jenny Markey (1G, 2A) also had a strong day with three points, while Olivia Adamson (1G, 1A) added two points. Savannah Sweitzer had a sick BTB pass to assist Adamson on the second goal of the game.

The potential dark cloud to hang over this game is the fourth quarter injury to draw taker Kate Mashewske. Kate went down on the sideline as she was trying to avoid defenders after winning a draw and grabbed for her knee once she hit the ground. She immediately had a troubled look on her face, and was helped off the field, standing on crutches as the fourth quarter wound down and looking very emotional.

It’s just a devastating blow if the news is bad for both Kate and this team, which has been flying to start the season and now may have suffered an injury to one of their most valuable weapons in Mashewske, who came into the game leading the country in draw wins per game. Olivia Adamson took the draws for the rest of the game after Kate went down, winning 2-of-3 and one to herself. Time will tell on Kate’s injury.

The Orange will be back in action this coming week, when they hit the road for just the second time this season. They’ll be traveling down to Baltimore to face the Loyola Greyhounds on Wednesday, March 15 at 6 PM on ESPN+.