Syracuse women’s lacrosse holds off Notre Dame, remains undefeated

Women's lacrosse holds off ND, remains undefeated

Sierra Cockerille scores five goals as Cuse fends off No. 4 Notre Dame 18-14.
Published: March 11, 2021 | Updated: March 13th, 2021 at 10:29 am
NCAA Womens Lacrosse: Notre Dame at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange midfielder Sierra Cockerille (43) dodges to the goal against the defense of Notre Dame Fighting Irish midfielder Kasey Choma (3) during the second half at the Carrier Dome.

No. 2 Syracuse defeated No. 4 Notre Dame 18-14 to extend their unbeaten start to the season, improving to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in ACC play. Midfielder Sierra Cockerille starred in Thursday night’s victory, scoring a career-high five goals, four of which came in the first half.

Cockerille ended the night with seven points (five goals, two assists). Meaghan Tyrrell (three goals, two assists) and Megan Carney (two goals, three assists) also had solid performances for the Orange, both earning five points respectively.

Notre Dame won the first faceoff of the night, but after that, Syracuse took control. Down the stretch, the Orange’s offensive unit was just too overwhelming for Notre Dame to deal with.

While the Fighting Irish never led at any point during the 60 minutes of play, Notre Dame continuously rallied from behind to string together goals and keep themselves in the game.

“We made a lot of mistakes that we can correct, and I think there’s a lot of teaching points we can learn from this,” said head coach Gary Gait after the game. “But it was our first real challenge of the year, and it was nice to see our players respond.”

NCAA Womens Lacrosse: Notre Dame at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange attacker Megan Carney (22) and midfielder Bianca Chevarie (45) celebrate a goal against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse opened the scoring on a counterattack after soaking up pressure from Notre Dame’s first offensive possession. Cockerille scooped up a loose ball and sprinted up the field before passing the ball inside to Emma Ward, who launched a quick shot that opened up the scoring. The Orange went on to score on each of their first four possessions, taking a dominant 4-0 lead.

Attempting to erase the early deficit, Notre Dame played a patient offense but found themselves unable to consistently break down Syracuse’s zone defense. On the other end of the field, Syracuse was able to directly cut through Notre Dame’s defenders and maintain a healthy lead.

Throughout the rest of the half, Syracuse was able to maintain at least a three-goal lead. Going into halftime, Syracuse led 10-6.

Cockerille scored her fifth goal of the game —  her career-high —  to give the Orange a 12-6 lead just over one minute into the second half.

“She’s the type of player that has the ability to put the ball in the net,” said Gait about Cockerille. “She’s done a great job for us.”

NCAA Womens Lacrosse: Notre Dame at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange goalie Asa Goldstock (21) runs with the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half at the Carrier Dome.

In the first six minutes of the second half, Syracuse scored five unanswered goals. The Orange did not concede for more than 11 minutes but would ultimately concede eight throughout the remainder of the second half.

With Syracuse leading 15-6 just under six minutes into the half, it seemed like the Orange would steamroll the Irish from there on out. However, the Notre Dame came roaring back with five consecutive goals to reduce the deficit to four.

Syracuse didn’t allow Notre Dame to complete this comeback, however. Emma Ward, Sam Swart, and Emma Tyrrell each tallied a goal within the span of a minute to give the Orange a seven-goal lead with five and a half minutes left in the game, 18-11.

The Fighting Irish lived up to their name until the end — getting three goals back in the final two minutes —  but catching up with Syracuse’s clinical offense was just too large of a task.

Syracuse has a quick turnaround and will look to further extend their undefeated start to the season when they play the Irish again in the Dome in just two days’ time on Sunday at noon.

Avatar for Bryan Brush

is a contributor to The NewsHouse and studying at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.