Syracuse women’s lacrosse shuts down Stony Brook in home opener

SU Wlax dominates play, scoreboard in home opener

Megan Carney, Sam Swart guide the Orange to a 2-0 start to the challenging 2021 season.
Published: February 27, 2021
NCAA Womens Lacrosse: Stony Brook at Syracuse
Feb 27, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange attacker Megan Carney (22) dodges to the goal as Stony Brook Seawolves midfielder Nicole Rizzo (44) defends during the second half at the Carrier Dome.

The second-ranked Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse team came into their matchup Saturday against #5 Stony Brook with a vengeance. Last year, the Seawolves took down the Orange in overtime, 17-16. That would be the lone loss of the shortened season for the Orange.

Before the game, it was determined that Emily Hawryschuk, Syracuse’s All-American attack and leading scorer, would be out for the game with a lower-body injury. Without Hawryschuk on the field, the Orange knew that other players would have to step up to fill the gaping hole left by her absence. And that they did.

The Orange picked up a 16-6 win over the Seawolves and dominated both sides of the ball. In the opening minute of the first half, Megan Carney scored her first goal of the day off of a free position attempt and a feed by Emily Ehle to put the Orange up 1-0.

Just about two minutes later, the Orange scored again, this time off the assist from Carney and the goal by Sam Swart. The entire first few minutes of the game, Syracuse was in control. Part of the reason was Syracuse’s defense. Asa Goldstock had three saves before the Seawolves found the back of the net on a Bridget Considine goal, her first of the season.

Coming off of a media timeout, the momentum still seemed to side with the Orange. Sierra Cockerille shredded the defense and scored all by herself for her first goal of the day with just over 18 minutes left in the first half.

The one bright side for the Seawolves is that senior Siobhan Rafferty had four goals of the day, her first coming after that Cockerville goal to shorten the Syracuse lead, 3-2. But just right after that, Cockerville scored her second goal of the game on a free position shot to go up 4-2 with under 12 minutes left in the half. For the rest of the game, Syracuse absolutely dominated.

Syracuse scored six unanswered goals in just over five minutes to go up 9-2, two of those by Swart.

Stony Brook answered with another Rafferty goal with just under six minutes to go in the half, but that wasn’t enough to shut down the Syracuse offense. Carney scored three goals in the last four minutes of the game to put the Orange up 12-3 heading into the locker room.

Carney had an absolute monster first half, scoring all five of her goals in the frame. Swart tacked on three goals while Emma Ward had three assists in the first half of play.

Another difference in the half was the defense. Asa Goldstock had eight saves to shut down the Seawolves offense. The biggest difference in this game was the fact that the Syracuse defense held Stony Brook midfielder Ally Kennedy to zero goals and zero assists in the entire game. Kennedy was the US Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Player of the Year but couldn’t handle the Syracuse defense.

Another huge part of that domination was the draw control. Syracuse bested the Seawolves 16-8 in the category. The team of Morgan Widner and Katelyn Mashewske again dominated the draw control for the game.

NCAA Womens Lacrosse: Stony Brook at Syracuse
Feb 27, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange midfielder Sam Swart (3) celebrates her goal with teammates against the Stony Brook Seawolves during the first half at the Carrier Dome.

Coming out of the locker room, both teams were a little sloppy. Ella Simkins won the opening draw, but both the Orange and the Seawolves traded turnovers for the first eight minutes of the second half until Swart broke the game open with her fourth goal of the game to put the Orange up ten.

Despite the flurry of goals, one of the best plays of the game wasn’t on the offensive side of the ball. After a save by Goldstock, she flipped it behind her back to a cutting Orange player in between three defenders.

After the Swart goal, Cockerille got her hat-trick as she drove straight down the middle of the field to score and put the Orange up 14-3. Rafferty quickly answered for the Seawolves with a goal to complete her own hat-trick.

The Seawolves and the Orange traded goals for the next few minutes, with Cockerille scoring again after a sweet fake and rip to the back of the net. Stony Brook answered with back-to-back goals by Rafferty and Jesse Arline to shorten the Syracuse lead, 15-6.

But that would just not be enough momentum for the Seawolves, as Meaghan Tyrrell answered off another free position shot for her second goal of the day with over six minutes to go.

That goal would be the last for either team, and the Orange went on to win 16-6 in the Dome. The play was physical for both teams, yet Syracuse put their foot on the gas and never let up. The absence of Hawryschuk never seemed to faze the Orange offense.

Carney paced the Orange with five goals and six points, while Swart and Cockerille both contributed four goals apiece. Goldstock finished the game with 11 saves, but after the game, she only complimented her team.

“Defensively, we know we’re a really strong group, so we make it our goal that they need to change their offense for our defense,” Goldstock explained. “I think that today our zone did great — my teammates have been flying all over the field and making plays.”

Syracuse head coach Gary Gait also said that the team changed their defensive strategy from last year against the Seawolves.

“Big difference from last year to this year; last year we played man-to-man against Stony Brook, and this year we stuck to our bread and butter which was our zone defense,” Gait said. “And we held them to six goals, which for a top-five team, that’s solid effort for our defense.”

Coming up, the Orange have another test as they head to Durham, North Carolina next Saturday to face #8 Duke. Opening draw is at 1 p.m.