Syracuse (14-7, 6-4 ACC) had just come off of a dramatic double-overtime ACC Tournament Championship victory over No. 2 UNC, winning three games in four days. To say they had had their work cut out for them is an understatement. They had consecutively finished off three of the top four teams in the country, two in 2OT.
To wrap things up before the NCAA Tournament, the team was to head down to Maryland to face No. 16 Loyola (15-4, 8-0, Patriot League). Because of the riots going on in Baltimore, the game moved to Syracuse at the SU Soccer Stadium. It was still played as if it were on the Greyhound's campus though, with a ceremony honoring the team's seniors prior to the opening whistle.
This was the second straight game that the Orange played in where neither team seemed to want to score much in the first half. Syracuse scored first, but Loyola followed up with a 5-1 run that bled into the second half. The Greyhounds seemed to be in total control after grabbing their largest lead, 8-4, with 15:57 to go in regulation. They had done a very good job of keeping the Orange scoring at bay up to that point. The beauty with any sport is that no lead is safe until the final whistle.
Lisa Rodgers got the offense going just 21 seconds after Loyola's goal. Then, Kayla Treanor, who had been silent all game, game alive and scored three consecutive goals, bringing her grand total of the season to 53. If not for Emily Clark's goal with 9:33 to go, the game would have been tied and possibly headed to overtime. Alas, it was not meant to be, as Syracuse was unable to find the back of the net over the final 3:20 of the game, a "Senior Day" victory for Loyola.
Two Greyhounds had multiple-goal games: attackers Kara Burke and Hannah Schmitt each with two on the day. Goaltender Molly Wolf was phenomenal, with 13 saves vs. eight goals allowed.
On the other side, Kayla Treanor led the way with her three goals near the end of the game. Syracuse won more than twice the amount of draw controls as Loyola, with 13 to their six. Kailah Kempney won six draws alone. Between the pipes, Kelsey Richardson had a solid day, stopping six and allowing nine.
The Orange will either face Penn (13-4) or Albany (14-4) in their first game of the NCAA Tournament this Sunday, after Commencement ceremonies, at the SU Soccer Stadium. It will begin at 3 p.m. EST. Here's the full bracket, for those who are curious. There's the potential for another #OrangeEagle matchup in the quarterfinals, but that would mean that both Syracuse and BC would have to have won their second round games. I will update with ticket information, as it becomes available.