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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Orange out-tough Virginia Tech in 16-5 win

The Hokies provided a stiffer test, one that the Orange passed in impressive fashion.

The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team has been on a run of winning games by large margins for most of this season, and that continued on Sunday in a 16-5 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies to move to 6-0 and 2-0 in the ACC.

But this game had a different feel to it, one in which the Orange had to work harder to build up their margin and ultimately get the win.

That’s the hallmark of a Virginia Tech team that doesn’t measure up in talent, but makes up for it with intensity and grit. They provided SU with an early sampling of the toughness they will face from all comers in the ACC this season. The 11-goal victory ultimately belied the challenge that the Hokies provided to this Syracuse team as they prepare to re-enter the gauntlet portion of their schedule.

The Orange, for their part, aced the test from their counterparts on both ends of the field. After a slow start in which SU only held a 2-1 edge after the first quarter, they erupted for a 6-0 second quarter that gave them the cushion they would never relinquish.

The offense started very slow in this game as the Hokies dominated possession in the opening frame. When SU did have the ball, there was very little movement in the half-field sets.

That completely changed in the second, when Kayla Treanor’s offense started to work in the patented ‘Cuse weave introduced by Gary Gait so many years ago. The weave worked its magic from that point on, helping the offense to better utilize both player and ball movement and light up the scoreboard the way we’re used to seeing from this offense.

Meaghan Tyrrell (5G, 2A) and Emma Ward (2G, 4A) were the primary catalysts in this game, finishing with seven and six points, respectively. Emma Tyrrell (3G) had a hat trick, and Meg Carney (2G) and Olivia Adamson (2G) each had a pair of goals. Sierra Cockerille and Maddy Baxter each had one goal. The woman-up unit had a literally perfect day in going 4-for-4 in their opportunities.

The defense had, I thought, their best performance of the year. They executed exactly what you expect a zone defense to do in lacrosse; they created a mess of turnovers by effectively collapsing virtually every time VT tried to pass the ball inside. They created a total of 10 turnovers on the day, an outstanding number. Bianca Chevarie had an especially great game, finishing with six GBs and three CTs to go along with two DC wins.

They made it very difficult for the Hokies to create any kind of looks at the cage. And when they did get scoring chances? Well, you know the drill this season. Delaney Sweitzer was incredible. She, too, had one of her best days on the season. finishing with 15 saves against only five goals surrendered for a sparkling .750 save percentage.

A handful of her saves were of the doorstep variety as she took great scoring chances off the board for the Hokies, completely changing the scoreboard for what could have looked like a different game.

As always, she was also very active outside of her cage, jumping out to help create some turnovers and start transition. She finished with six GBs and two CTs. Another amazing performance from Sweitzer as the anchor to this Syracuse team.

The Orange will be back in action next weekend, right back in the JMA Dome, when they play host to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for what is sure to be an exciting ACC battle. That game is Saturday, March 11 at 12 PM on ACC Network. Yay, TV!