Big first half propels Syracuse women’s LAX over Loyola

Big first half propels SU women’s LAX over Loyola

Syracuse scored seven unanswered goals in the first 17 minutes of play.
Published: March 2, 2019
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Syracuse’s Nicole Levy gets ready to take a shot on goal past Loyola Maryland defender Lindsey Ehrhardt.

A big first half gave Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse a comfortable lead that would help them take the win over the No. 13 Loyola Maryland Greyhounds, 15-11, on Wednesday afternoon.

Last Sunday’s game against Northwestern must have been a focal point of conversation between the Orange women’s lacrosse coaching staff and its players this week. Only up by, at most, three goals at any given time, the game was close throughout.

A lesson from this game would be that the Orange needs to step on the gas immediately if given the opportunity. Obviously, how close a game turns out to be is not up to either team individually, but Syracuse seemed to challenge that fact against Loyola during the first half. The Orange went up seven goals to none against Loyola within the game’s first 13 minutes.

Almost every possession that ended in a Syracuse goal early in the game was one of patience and deliberate movement. The Orange offense often came to a halt, appearing to stagnate. However as the first half progressed, it became clear that this tactic was used to survey Loyola’s defense and search for an opening or weak point of some kind.

Suddenly, after lulling the Greyhounds into a sense of security, the Orange shifted into fifth gear and cut right for the net, repeatedly scoring in this fashion. The goal that capped the seven to nothing scoring run was a fine example of Syracuse’s ability to get in close to the goal once the ball carrier identified an opening in Loyola’s defense. Megan Carney, who finished the game with three goals and two assists, curled around the back of the net and fought through multiple defenders before sealing them off and scoring from point-blank range.

Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said the uncomfortable heat in the Carrier Dome made the game slow. Whether the original game plan was to stress patience on the offensive end or the heat was the main reason for the game’s pace, it certainly benefited the Orange early on.

The rest of the half was more of the same, as the Orange continued to dominate on both ends of the field. After the first 30 minutes of gameplay, Syracuse was on top by a score of 12-4

Though Loyola would go on to score four straight goals starting at the 21:27 mark in the second half and even kept the Orange from scoring until there was only 6:49 left in the game, the home team continued to control the tempo.

“I thought our offense took good quality shots,” Gait said.

The patience to wait for the right shot and keep the ball out of the hands of Loyola’s offense was a key to winning a big matchup against the team’s second ranked opponent in as many games.

At the end of the night, the Orange would win 15-11, led by Emily Hawryschuk’s four goals. Should the Orange continue to play with exceptional poise on offense, the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team will have a great chance to extend its winning streak to four in a row against Virginia in the Dome this Saturday.

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Syracuse’s Julie Cross attempts to steal the ball from Loyola’s Lindsey Ehrhardt.