Just two weeks after their previous meeting, Syracuse faced Loyola (MD) in the Carrier Dome yesterday. The Greyhounds came into the contest winning 16-straight games, arguably the hottest team in all of women's college lacrosse. That didn't have any affect on the Orange, as they took the same approach that they have all season, playing at their own pace.
Syracuse won the opening draw to start things off, but Loyola was able to fend them off, get the ball back and score. The goal was Kara Burke's first of three for the day. Four minutes later, after a great screen by Kayla Treanor created space, Loren Ziegler scored to tie the game. Not even a minute later, Kailah Kempney found the back of the net to put the Orange up a goal. After a few changes of possession, and a game-tying goal by Loyola, Syracuse was called for a shooting space penalty, in which the Greyhounds took advantage of notching their second lead of the game. Nine minutes of play later, Taylor Poplawski picked up the speed, scoring a breakaway goal between goaltender Molly Wolf's legs. The Orange took back the lead with 5:10 to go in the half off of a goal by Halle Majorana. From there, it seemed as though Syracuse had control, until a turnover in the final 20 seconds. Loyola sped down the field, Annie Thomas scoring with 0.6 left that was held up after review of the time.
Taylor Gait scored the first goal of the second half, the Orange now with their third lead of the game. It was Gait's 25th goal of the season. Midfielder Sydney Thomas tied the game back up eight minutes later. Over the next five minutes of game time, goals from Ziegler and Riley Donahue would put Syracuse up by two goals, securing the lead for good. Two more goals from Majorana gave her a hat trick for the day. On the other side of the ball, Burke scored a hat trick for the Greyhounds. Donahue sealed the win with her second goal of the game with 1:26 to go in the game.
For the Orange, midfielder Halle Majorana led the way with her three goals and two assists. Riley Donahue, a freshman, and Loren Ziegler were not far behind with two goals each on the day. Kailah Kempney had eight draw controls, three more than the combined team total for Loyola. In goal, Kelsey Richardson had 10 saves on seven goals.
Attacker Kara Burke scored a hat trick for the Greyhounds that led the way for the four other contributors that each scored one goal: midfielder Sydney Thomas, attacker Hanna Schmitt, attacker Annie Thomas, and midfielder Tarn VanThof. Between the pipes, Molly Wolf had the opposite day as Richardson, with seven saves on 10 goals.
With Loyola headed back to Maryland, Syracuse advances to their fourth-straight Final Four, an amazing feat. They will face the winner of the Northwestern vs Maryland matchup, which is being played later today, next Friday.