Syracuse women’s lacrosse closes season in decisive rematch victory

‘Cuse women's lacrosse closes season in decisive rematch victory

The No. 3 Orange overcome injuries en route to 16 goals heading into the ACC Tournament.
Published: April 24, 2021 | Updated: April 26th, 2021 at 8:03 am
Syracuse vs. Boston College Women's Lacrosse
Syracuse midfielder Emma Tyrrell (24) vs. Boston College at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday April 24, 2021.

After falling in a last-minute thriller against Boston College on Thursday, Syracuse women’s lacrosse rebounded with a 16-7 victory in the rematch in the Dome. Playing without star attack Megan Carney, the Orange rallied as a team as four players scored multiple goals led by a career-high six goals from Emma Tyrrell.

After the game, Tyrrell spoke about her position change and the team’s efforts to replace the goal scoring they’ve lost to injury.

“Honestly, I was a little surprised when it happened,” Tyrrell said. “It’s definitely going to be more of a team effort. We’ll do great as a whole. I have enough trust in this whole family that we’ll pull through. I know all my teammates have my back no matter what happens.”

In the previous matchup, the Class of 2020 celebrated their Senior Day after last season’s postponement. In the final regular season game, the Class of 2021 received their honors with a pregame ceremony that included video shoutouts from family members and a class photo near the ‘Cuse bench.

The Orange surrendered a late goal Thursday that resulted in a 14-13 loss despite winning the turnover battle by 11 and outshooting the Eagles 25-19. On Saturday, they dominated on the stat sheet and the field.

Picking up where they left off in the last matchup, BC struck first less than one minute into the game. Allyson Trice turned the ball over right in front of the SU goal and Cara Urbank pounced on the loose ball for her 27th of the season, but the Eagle’s excitement would be short-lived.

After winning their second draw on as many attempts, BC was on the attack once again, but Sarah Cooper forced a turnover late in the shot clock to keep the game within one. On the other end, Sierra Cockerille fired in her 16th of the season to tie the game 1-1.

Sam Swart followed just 33 seconds later with an unassisted goal of her own to give ‘Cuse the lead. Emma Tyrrell scored on an assist from Meaghan Tyrrell 26 seconds later for the Orange’s largest lead across the two matchups.

In the postgame press conference following the first game, head coach Gary Gait said the play style of the Eagles that used the entire shot clock slowed the pace of the game to limit the Orange attack. BC employed the same strategy in the rematch, but the SU defense met the challenge and shut down their scoring attempts.

After Saturday’s game, Gait addressed his team’s improved performance.

“(What) a difference a couple days makes when we regroup and make some adjustments,” Gait said. “We’re super happy with the way we played. Happy with the effort from the top to the bottom.”

The Orange converted strong defense into even better offense as Emma Tyrrell picked up her second and third goals of the game with an Emma Ward free position goal sandwiched in between to give the Orange a 6-1 lead  midpoint of the first half neared.

Emily Ehle and Ward kept pouring it on as they each added goals in quick succession to bring the lead to seven. BC finally got back into the action following a yellow card on Cooper during a free position shot. The Eagles found their wings after a scoring drought and added another tally, but back-to-back sprawling saves from Asa Goldstock slowed the run.

Maddy Baxter ended the BC run for SU’s ninth of the game on an assist from Meaghan Tyrrell, and the older Tyrrell also found the back of the net with 90 seconds remaining for her first of the game. On the other end, SU forced the Eagles into their fourth shot clock violation of the half but later surrendered a goal to carry a 10-4 lead into the locker room.

Syracuse vs. Boston College Women's Lacrosse
Syracuse fans cheer on the Orange vs. Boston College at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday April 24, 2021.

Boston College opened the second half in similar fashion with the first goal, but SU once again responded as Cockerille notched her second of the afternoon and chased keeper Rachel Hall from the net in favor of Abbey Ngai. Hall saved just two of 13 shots on goal, but Ngai fared no better as Emma Tyrrell cut through twice in 60 seconds to score her fourth and fifth goals of the game to take a 13-5 lead.

The Eagles claimed the next two goals to cut the Orange lead back to six. BC began feeling the urgency of their deficit and used less of the shot clock on each possession as they rallied for a comeback.

Their effort was cut short as Ward picked up a hat-trick on an assist from Emma Tyrrell. She faked a shot high to the left and dove past the keeper to shuffle in her 22nd of the season.

The early run for the Eagles was quickly snuffed out by the Orange as Goldstock picked up her seventh and eighth saves of the game to close the door on the comeback. Goldstock finished the game with a .563 save percentage on 16 shots.

Ngai helped Boston College stay in the game with three saves in the second half, but her calming presence in the cage wasn’t enough to offset the dominant first half by ‘Cuse.

With just five minutes remaining, Meaghan Tyrrell and Ward connected for a Tyrrell’s second goal of the game and 48th of the season. A decisive performance in the regular season finale over a top five ACC opponent got the Orange back on track for the postseason.

Cooper scooped up her third ground ball of the afternoon to thwart the BC attack, but Swart led the team with four ground balls in the win, and Ella Simkins added three to the effort.

Closing out the game, Emma Tyrrell picked up her career-high sixth of the game on a pass from Cockerille. Her performance in the absence of Carney could help replace the scoring lost heading down the home stretch of the season. After the game, Gait confirmed that her move to attack would replace Carney in the starting lineup.

“It just made sense to move Emma Tyrrell down to attack,” Gait said. “We actually didn’t make any changes offensively. The only difference was Emma Tyrrell playing attack today for the first time ever.”

The Orange lost the draw control battle 13-11, but their performance on the draw greatly improved from Thursday’s matchup. SU also recorded five more shots on goal than the Eagles.

The victory closed the regular season for the Orange with a 12-2 record overall and an 8-2 conference record. The first round of the ACC Tournament will open on Wednesday, April 28, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Opponents and game times will be released as all teams conclude their regular seasons.

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is a magazine, news and online graduate student and lead sports producer for The NewsHouse.