Photo by Chelsea Brobst
(Newhouse Sports Media Center) Towson, Md.- An early deficit was too much for the Syracuse Orange to overcome as the Maryland Terrapins claimed their 11th NCAA title, and 12th overall defeating Syracuse 15-12 Sunday night.
Syracuse and Maryland had met twice this season prior to tonight’s NCAA title game with the Terrapins handing the Orange their only losses of the season.
“They’re tough, and that’s why they are now national champs,” Syracuse coach Gary Gait said. “They’ve got a team full of great players.”
Maryland started out fast and never looked back as a it controlled the pace of the game not allowing the Orange to possess the ball until nearly five minutes into the game.
With goals five goals in the opening 4:20 Syracuse found itself in a hole that it could not climb out of. But it was not for lack of trying.
“Obviously a tough way to start being they come out and dominate on the draws like that,” Gait said. “But we kept our composure. I was real proud of our team we came back fought back for a run of four on our own.”
“You know it was kind of startling,” defender Kasey Mock said. “But we have been in that position before and I mean. Who doesn’t love to come from behind a bit?"
Orange fights back
Orange fights back
The SU defense clamped down holding the Terrapins off the scoreboard for the next 16 minutes. That allowed the Orange to go on a run of its own cutting the lead to 5-4. It was the usual suspects leading the Orange offense during that span as Kayla Treanor tallied her 78th and 79th goals of the season in addition to goals from Amy Cross and senior Alyssa Murray. Murray wound up with 3 goals and an assist for season totals of 65-45.
Maryland’s Taylor Cummings proved why she is a Tewaaraton Award finalist immediately following Murray’s goal as she won the draw and sprinted down the field putting Maryland back up 6-4. The Terps went up 8-4 before the Orange was able to swing the momentum back in its favor with a pair of unanswered goals.
As time wound down though Beth Glaros found the back of the net to give Maryland a 9-6 lead heading into halftime. The slow start had cost the Orange women as they outscored Maryland 6-4 after the early 5-0 run.
“I think we stuck to our game plan and got that 4-0 run [after giving up five goals to start],” Gait said. “Bottom line is we just had to be better at draw control.”
In the second half Syracuse scored first but another big run by the Terrapins put the Orange in an even bigger hole. Brooke Griffin took control of the game with a hat trick giving the Terrapins a 13-7 lead.
With seven minutes left the Katie Webster got her second goal of the game and started a late Orange rally.
“We had confidence in ourselves [down the stretch run],” Murray said. “We just said you know we have to go full speed. There wasn’t too much time on the clock so I think we were going and going hard and we caught Maryland on their heels a little bit.”
It proved to be too little too late for the Orange as it cut the Maryland lead to three but could get no closer.
“We have to have the ball,” Murray said. “I think we executed our game plan and scored almost every time early on.”
Three turnovers as time wound down doomed the hopes of an Orange comeback. The Terrapins held on for the 15-12 victory and the 2014 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse National title.
“If you could do it again you’d hope you get a different start but that’s the way it went today and you know it was difficult,”Gait said. “You got to execute and play as a team. We had some mistakes that happened in the game and it’s a game of runs. We gave them some runs that were too large. We need to stop those runs at three instead of five goal runs.”
For the Orange it marked the end of the most successful season, and the second trip to the national title game in three years.
“We all left everything on the field,” Syracuse senior Alyssa Murray said. “I have no regrets about the way I played. I have no regrets about the way my teammates played. It just didn’t go our way today.”
The Orange finished with a 21-3 record, with all three losses coming at the hands of the Terps.
“It’s frustrating anytime you lose,” Gait said. “You pour your heart into every game as a player and a coach. It’s just wasn’t our day today.”
“It’s frustrating that we lost to Maryland three times,” senior Katie Webster said. “But the fact that we beat everybody is great and I proud of everybody.”
For Murray as well as the eight other seniors the loss marked the end of their collegiate career.
“This is a heck of a season. We made history at Syracuse,” a teary eyed Murray said. “We definitely left our mark as a class. I hope we showed the underclassmen what the Syracuse way is. And that’s something big here is the way that we work, and the way our team functions.”
Natalie Glanell, Alyssa Murray, and Kayla Treanor were all named to the All-Tournament team. Treanor and Murray are both finalists for the Tewaaraton Award which will be announced on Thursday evening.