Syracuse women’s lacrosse dominates offensively in first NCAA tourney match

SU WLAX dominates offensively in first NCAA Tournament matchup

Meaghan Tyrrell tied for most career goals and set a program record for an NCAA Tournament game in the Orange’s 20-8 win over Loyola.
Published: May 16, 2021
Meaghan Tyrrell (18) scores one of her seven goals against Loyola in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Meaghan Tyrrell (18) scores one of her seven goals against Loyola in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse opened up its 2021 season with a win over Loyola on Feb. 20, and now looked to repeat with another in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Orange did just that with a 20-8 win, seeming as though whenever ‘Cuse had the ball, they wasted no time placing it in the back of the net, especially in the first half.

Syracuse dominated on both ends of the field, but offensively, they could not be touched. In the first half, Meaghan Tyrrell and Sam Swart both put up three goals apiece, contributing heavily to the Orange’s 13-4 advantage over Loyola after the first 30 minutes. Asa Goldstock shone in the win and brought herself within 20 saves from a program record after stopping seven of 15 in today’s matchup.

Emma Tyrrell and Emma Ward battled back and forth in their season goal totals in the first as well, both logging two goals apiece and reaching the 32-goal mark with another 30 to go in regulation.

Jillian Wilson, Catie Corolla and Elli Kluegel were the stars for Loyola, with Syracuse holding off one of the Greyhounds’ top players, Kluegel, until just under eight minutes left in the first half.

An anticipatory silence filled the Dome as Syracuse’s Swart’s shot bounced off the turf and the posts like a pinball machine until it finally crossed the line, and the Orange were first on the scoreboard.

The Orange came out with lots of energy, but Loyola drew off that initial energy, racing down to the other end and sliding one over the arm and stick of Goldstock, tying the game at one early on.

The back-and-forth nature of play continued as Ward registered her first of the game on a free position, rocketing one in for her 31st of the season and second of the game for ‘Cuse. But a turnover by the Orange shortly after led to yet another tying goal from Loyola as Corolla tallied her first of the contest off a pass from behind the net.

Following the tie at two, once Syracuse was in possession of the ball, they were not about to give it up, and a 11-2 Orange run ensued. Emma Tyrrell was up first as she waited to take her shot until after she sidestepped some defenders off the free position and popped it right past Loyola goaltender Kaitlyn Larsson for her first of the game and ‘Cuse’s third.

The difference in both team’s style of play, Loyola’s tendency to take their time in the zone and Syracuse’s quick, get to the goal mindset, may have been a top reason for Syracuse’s success.

Jenny Markey and Cara Quimby both logged their fifth goals of the season in the run, Meagan Tyrrell got her first up on the board and Emma Tyrrell registered her second all before the Greyhounds saw their third goal in the battle.

The Syracuse sideline poses in celebration during a 20-8 victory over Loyola in the NCAA Tournament.
The Syracuse sideline poses in celebration during a 20-8 victory over Loyola in the NCAA Tournament.

After Loyola saw a goaltender change from Larsson to Amber Bustard, Jillian Wilson made it 7-3, ‘Cuse. But an absolute rocket from Ward extended the Orange lead off a pass from Meagan Tyrell, logging her second of the game and 32nd goal of the season.

Seconds later, Emma Tyrrell grabbed the ball right off of the faceoff, brought it into the zone and after a quick pass to Swart, the ball flew right past Bustard and into the back of the net for the 9-3 Syracuse lead. Bustard saw a strong save with 10 minutes to go in the first half, going hand-in-hand with a much stronger defensive front put on by Loyola, but it was all very short-lived as the Greyhounds were quick to turn it over in the ‘Cuse end.

However, an error by the Orange gave Bustard and the Greyhounds possession and play was headed toward Goldstock once again. Along came Kruegel who picked up her 31st of the season, cutting the Loyola deficit to five.

But it was all Syracuse from there. Meaghan Tyrrell picked up two more as Emily Tyrrell tallied an assist on her sister’s 54th of the season. A third goal of the game came for Swart with five and a half minutes remaining in the first half, and Emily Ehle picked up her 7th of the season, ending the first half with the Orange up 13-4.

Larsson got a second chance for the Greyhounds as the senior goaltender was put back in at the start of the second half. The Loyola defense picked it up a little bit at the start of the second half, limiting some of Syracuse’s chances early on and the Greyhounds were the first to get on the scoreboard in the second 30.

Kluegel recorded her second of the game early on in the second, while Wilson picked up two more of her own throughout the half, and Corolla registered her second of the game. But the Tyrrell sisters had the rest of the game in the bag. Meaghan Tyrrell picked up goals four through seven, her last goal tying her for most career goals and pushing her past Alyssa Murray’s six-goal game from 2014 against Virginia. Emma Tyrrell logged two back-to-back tallies, both off of passes from her sister, Meaghan.

As the game clock wound down, Morgan Alexander had a chance to add to the Orange score in the last seconds, but time ran out before her goal could be counted and 20-8 was the final.

Syracuse will move on to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to face No. 8/7 Florida next weekend.

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