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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Orange romp to 25-8 win over Johns Hopkins to open NCAA Tournament

‘Cuse is moving on to the quarterfinals after steamrolling Hopkins in their opening game.

Boston College v Syracuse Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team returned to the field with authority on Sunday afternoon, as they dispatched the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a dominating, 25-8 win at the SU Soccer Stadium.

It was a comprehensive victory for ‘Cuse, who was playing their first game in 16 days. The offense was unstoppable. The defense shut Hopkins down. And the draws were all SU. The clearing game was one big, recurring nightmare, especially in the first half, but other than that it was completely smooth sailing as the Orange cruised into the quarterfinal round.

The Tyrrell sisters made sure they gave their mom a fun Mother’s Day as they dominated all day long to the tune of 13 goals (on 16 shots), four assists, and 17 points. Meaghan Tyrrell (6G, 3A) led the way with a huge day of nine points on six goals and three assists. Along the way, she became only the second player in school history (Alyssa Murray) to record three seasons of 100 points or more and also moved into a tie for sixth place on the NCAA all-time points list (413).

Not to be outdone, Emma Tyrrell (7G, 1A) finished with eight points and one more goal than her older sister. In the process, Emma tied the SU mark for goals in a single NCAA Tournament game, which was previously held by...her sister. What a day for the Tyrrell clan.

The offense as a whole was playing out of their minds, getting their swagger back after the long layoff. The beautiful ball movement was back as ‘Cuse sliced and diced their way through the Hopkins defense on their way to reaching a new school-record 25 goals in a NCAA Tournament game.

Everything that makes this offense so incredibly lethal was back in vogue as the Orange produced their highest goal output of the season. Their shooting was so hot they practically burned a hole through the net. I mean, seriously, they shot 25-of-36 (.694 percent); absolutely insane.

Their ball movement was exceptional and led to 12 assists on the day. Even their usual offensive kryptonite, free positions, was a strength. In fact, it was perfect, as they went 7-for-7 on free position opportunities.

When this team uses their tremendous chemistry to move the ball like that and combines it with that kind of shooting, they’re basically unstoppable. They remembered how to play like that in this game.

Meg Carney (3G, 2A) had one of her best days in a while with five points and a hat trick, and Natalie Smith (4G) had a great day with a career-high four goals. Emma Ward (1G, 2A) actually had a relatively quiet day by her standards with three points, but got loud in a hurry when she threw a sick BTB pass to Carney to finish off a transition goal in the third quarter.

Olivia Adamson (12DC, 3A) had a huge day on draws and distributing with 12 draw wins and three assists, and Maddy Baxter (2G) scored a pair of goals off fantastic dodges. In total, five people scored multiple goals. It was an incredible display from the SU offense, and a reminder of just what they’re capable of when they’ve got it all working together.

While the offense was hogging the spotlight, the defense was having a really strong day of their own in shutting down the Hopkins offense. They caused seven turnovers while only surrendering eight goals. Delaney Sweitzer was back to looking like herself in net with 11 saves and a .579 save percentage. It’s big trouble for an opposing offense when Delaney’s putting up those numbers.

The draw control unit had a great game to help fuel the offense’s explosion. Olivia was dominant, picking up 12 wins herself on the way to helping ‘Cuse win the draw game, 22-12.

The only weakness on the day was the clearing game, which had a terrible time dealing with the Blue Jays’ 12-woman ride that high-pressured them into the majority of their 14 turnovers. In total, the Orange went only 16-of-24 on clears, a .667 success rate. That’s obviously horrendous, and at times, the team looked unprepared to handle the pressure that Hopkins was putting on them.

Delaney, especially, was throwing bad passes and making bad decisions in trying to break the pressure. She ended up with six turnovers just by herself. A few times, they tried getting the ball to Emma Tyrrell and having her be the one-woman clear, which worked pretty well.

The Orange have a whole stable of speedy midfielders that they should use in those spots if anybody decides to utilize the 12-woman ride against them moving forward. To their credit, they did much better with it as the game went on, going 7-of-8 in the second half after a dismal 9-of-16 in the first half.

The Orange will be back in action this Thursday, May 18 when they host the No. 7 seed James Madison Dukes in the quarterfinals. According to the broadcast, that game will be played in the JMA Wireless Dome. Game time and broadcast information have not yet been announced.