Sunday, March 30, 2014

Alyssa Murray Records 300th Career Point in 19-15 Win Over Duke

Story by Jennifer Ready
Photo by Norman Seawright III
Senior Alyssa Murray reached a major collegiate milestone Saturday afternoon, recording her 300th career point to lead No.3 Syracuse in a 19-15 victory over No.8/9 Duke and improve its record to 10-1.

“I’ve had a great career here mostly because of everyone around me,” Murray said after the game. “I’ve had great people feeding it to me throughout my career and people who can catch my passes and finish. So I owe it to my teammates.”

Murray joins former SU players Katie Rowan and Christina Dove on Syracuse’s all-time scoring list, ranking third with 301 total points. She tallied seven points, on three goals and four assists against the Blue Devils.

Along with Murray, the Orange offense saw ten different players finish in the net. Sophomore Kayla Treanor notched five points with four goals and one assist. Katie Webster, Erica Bodt, Taylor Poplawski, and Kailah Kempney all recorded a pair of goals while Amy Cross, Gabby Jaquith, Brenna Rainone and Lisa Rogers all registered single tallies.

“I thought our team played very well, executed and built a substantial lead,” Head Coach Gary Gait said. “It was great and allowed an opportunity for some of our other players to get in there, when that happens against a top ten team its just awesome. We are very thrilled with the performance of everybody, especially our core players that provided that opportunity for those other players.”

The Orange led 10-7 at half-time but it was Duke that started the game with a 2-0 lead. Just 3:24 into action, junior Taylor Trimble and senior Sydney Peterson connected with the back of the net to give the Blue Devils an early advantage.

But Alyssa Murray struck with 22:56 remaining in the half. The Orange and the Blue Devils traded the lead early on but with the game knotted 4-4, a goal from Kayla Treanor sparked the Orange on a 3-0 scoring run and Syracuse kept its lead the remainder of the game.

Duke’s Taylor Trimble answered to the Syracuse run netting her second goal of the afternoon to make it a two-point game, 7-5. Following a goal from Kempney for the Orange, the Blue Devils responded with two unanswered goals from Kerrin Maurer and Maddy Acton to make it a tight 8-7 game.

With less than a minute left in the half, Webster and Treanor rattled off swift goals to give Syracuse a 10-7 half-time advantage.

The Blue Devils were the first to strike in the second half. Midfielder Maddy Morrissey notched a goal just 57 seconds after the draw. However, Kailah Kempney retaliated with 26:02 left to play and started the Orange on a 5-0 run allowing Syracuse to break away from the Blue Devils with a 15-8 lead.

 Following a goal from Trimble, Kayla Treanor recorded her 36th goal of the season and Alyssa Murray netted a pair of goals to give SU a wide 18-9 lead.

But the Blue Devils then went on a run to outscore the Orange 6-1 with 7:56 left in the game. It was not enough to defeat the Orange, Syracuse clinched the 19-15 victory over the Blue Devils in their first ever meeting in.

Midfielder Amy Cross led the Orange with three ground balls and one caused turnover. Syracuse goalkeepers Alyssa Costantino and Kelsey Richardson shared time in the net. Costantino had one save in the first half and Richardson had three saves and one ground ball in the last 30 minutes.  

Syracuse will host Albany Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome, the draw is set for 7 p.m.

To watch the post game press conference with Head Coach Gary Gait, Alyssa Murray, Kayla Treanor and Kelsey Richardson click here.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Syracuse WLax v. Duke: Photos

Alyssa Murray hit the 300 mark as the Syracuse Women's Lacrosse team beat Duke 19-15 in the second half of a Carrier Dome doubleheader Saturday. Here's a slide show from Norman Seawright III. Click any picture to start the show.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Orange Exit: Photos from the Buffalo Heartbreak

More pictures from the student section by Michael Silver as Syracuse goes out of the 2014 NCAA men's basketball tournament with a 55-53 loss to Dayton.

Click on any photo to start slide show:

Women's Lacrosse Exorcises Demons in 11-7 Win over Northwestern

                                                    Orange breaks away from 6-6 tie

Story and photo by Christopher Landers

Just two minutes had gone by in the second half, and the game was tied, but a palpable sense of dread started to fill the Carrier Dome. Northwestern — the Big Bad Wolf of women’s lacrosse, 11-1 all-time against the Orange and 9-0 over the last seven years (including twice in the NCAA tournament) — had managed to tie the game on two quick goals out of the locker room despite trailing for the first 30 minutes. A game that had seemed in hand was now anything but, and it would only be natural for doubt to begin settling in. 

But then a remarkable thing happened: Syracuse’s senior class, a group that had never known victory against this program on any field, made a stand. Alyssa Murray scored the go-ahead goal that sparked a late 4-0 run and the Orange (9-1, 2-1 ACC) finally got the purple monkey off its back with an 11-7 win over the No. 7 Wildcats (4-3, 1-1 ALC) on Sunday.  

Northwestern is in the midst of a bit of a down year (by its standards, at least) and this is just one more step in Syracuse’s push for a national title. But the Orange still proved something to itself, and the players now have the knowledge that at their best the can beat anyone, anywhere.

“I think it’s just sort of, ‘Ugh, thank god, finally,’” Murray said. “They’ve proven in the past they know how to win no matter what the circumstance, no matter what players they have on the field, and I think that’s very telling of our team this year. We were able to dig deep.”

The game was a contrast in styles — Northwestern’s patient, possession-heavy attack against Syracuse’s high-octane offense. And for much of the first half, the Wildcats controlled tempo, exercising patience against the Orange’s matchup zone and keeping the ball away from its own net. Northwestern was in possession for minutes at a time, probing and prodding, looking for an opening but more than willing to keep searching if one didn’t present itself — and it often did after forcing the Orange to defend for so long. So despite Syracuse’s success against the Wildcats man-to-man – particularly senior Katie Webster, who torched her defender for two first-half goals — Northwestern hung around and trailed just 6-4 at halftime. 

“We knew they were going to try to slow it down on us, take time off the clock,” head coach Gary Gait said. “In the first half they had a lot of possessions, but we got after it and got some turnovers in that second half and it made the difference.”

Northwestern struck quickly after the break, coming up with two quick goals as Syracuse came out flat. And just like that, though it had felt secure just 90 seconds earlier, the game was tied at six — and the same painful script began to be written, another close loss to the Wildcats. This time, though, Syracuse had an answer.

After a crucial faceoff win, Webster found Murray cutting through the middle for an easy finish to retake the lead. From that point forward, the Orange turned it into its style of game and never looked back — Northwestern committed three consecutive turnovers and the game’s pacing and spacing opened up, turning into the up-and-down track meet Syracuse always wanted. The Orange ripped off three more goals in less than ten minutes, taking a 10-6 lead with 12 minutes to play, and cruised to the finish line from there. Amy Cross had two goals during the run.

“I think we played really well in transition,” Webster said. “Especially when we get the ball from 30[-yard line] to 30, we’re just all involved.”

“We just got the defense on their heels a little bit,” Murray said. “We were trying to take the wind out of their sails and that just started a big run for us.”

Gait’s biggest concern afterward seemed to be bringing his team back down to Earth after such a huge weight had been lifted. 

“Today was about getting this done for our seniors, and they’re very happy,” he said with a smile. Then he paused and almost sheepishly added, “There are definitely still areas to improve in if you look at the stats, ground balls, those areas.”

The ultimate goal has yet to be reached for this team, but that didn’t make Sunday any less sweet.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photos from NCAA Round 2 in Buffalo

The fan's eye view

Syracuse looked like its old self Thursday in an easy 77-53 win over Western Michigan at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, Our Michael Silver has a look from the student section. Click on any picture to start the slide show.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Syracuse Defeats Harvard 17-4

(Photo by: Jillian Thaw)

By: Chelsea Brobst

            The Syracuse women’s lacrosse team started the second half of the regular season with an easy win over Harvard at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night. It was the fourth straight game at home and with a score of 17-4, No. 3 Syracuse showed why it has been one of the top-ranked teams this entire season.
            Just like the last time these two teams met in 2012, Alyssa Murray, now a senior, contributed five points, this time on two goals and three assists. Murray started the scoring with less than three minutes gone in the first half. The Orange would go on to score another four straight in the following four minutes. In total, 12 different Syracuse players scored in the win.
            The Ivy League Defensive Player of the week, Kelly Weis made 12 saves in goal for Harvard. But even she could not stop the number of threats on the Syracuse offense. The depth of the scoring ability did not go unnoticed by Murray. “People finding success all over the field between the midfield and attack, it’s going to help us in the long run.”
            Junior Devon Collins agreed with Murray about the need for scoring depth. “We’re trying to get everybody involved more now and it’s kind of harder of now for the defenses to keep focus when there are threats coming from all over instead of just a couple of players, they have to pay a lot more attention.”
            Coach Gary Gait was proud of the way his attack unit competed. “Our attack picked it up a little bit,” Gait said. “I thought the effort level on the attack was better and I think that was the key, the defense and the offensive players willing to work as hard as the defensive players.”
            The Syracuse defense once again shut down the opposing team. Alyssa Costantino, the ACC Co-Defensive player of the week, and Kelsey Richardson split time in the cage. Richardson made five saves in the second half. Harvard freshman, Marisa Romeo who leads the Crimson with 20 points, was held to a single assist. Freshman Megan Hennessey, second leading points scorer, was limited to only two goals.
            The game also marked the return of Lisa Miller, former Syracuse Head Coach and current coach at Harvard. Gait credits Miller with the current success of the Syracuse program. “She did a great job building this program and taking it to a very competitive level. We are just trying to build off what she started. She’s a great coach and I just appreciate everything she did for the Syracuse program when I took over.”
            With the loss, Harvard now falls to a record of 3-3 on the year and will look to get back above .500 when it takes on Yale this Saturday. The Syracuse women, now 8-1, will begin to prep for Northwestern, the team that defeated them in the National Championship game two years ago. Northwestern has won ten in a row against Syracuse and lead the series 11-1.

            Syracuse split a pair of home games against Top Five teams over spring break, losing to No 2 Maryland 12-10 and beating No.4 Florida 17-12..
            Murray hopes to use the momentum from the Harvard game against a very tough Northwestern defense. “I think today is a good start and a good way to prep for Northwestern, because in the past they’ve played a high pressure defense which really makes you have to focus and not make mental errors.”
            The No. 7 Wildcats come to the Carrier Dome this Sunday for a 1 p.m. start time.

Select Photos from Syracuse vs. Harvard, 3/18/14 - Carrier Dome

While Chelsea Brobst was covering the SU Women's Lacrosse win over Harvard for the Newhouse Sports Media Center Tuesday, Jillian Thaw was documenting the game in photos including a few of Brobst doing her job. Click on any photo to watch the slide show.