Photo by Cuse.com
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 7/6 Boston College Eagles edged the No. 3/2 Syracuse Orange 10-9 Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome to hand SU its first loss of the season.
13 team turnovers, lack of possession and the complete shutdown of SU’s most effective scorer plagued the Orange women as they fell to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the ACC.
“I give Boston College a lot of credit for sticking it out, they won a close game and they got it done,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. “We're still trying to find our identity with the roster we have and who is going to do what. We got to experience a very good shutoff on the offensive end and we turned around and made some mistakes and gave them the ball for a while and you don't see it for another five minutes. They definitely controlled the game and played at their pace and I congratulate them."
Syracuse jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first three minutes of play with Halle Majorana, Taylor Gait and Kailah Kempney each finding the back of the cage.
But BC quickly regained composure and answered back by scoring three unanswered goals to tie it up in the span of five minutes.
SU and BC would go goal-for-goal on the next three scores giving SU the 5-4 advantage with 12:54 left before the half.
But with just :23 seconds left on the clock, Mikaela Rix drove and dished to Covie Stanwick who faked high and shot low past SU keeper Kelsey Richardson to send both teams into the locker room tied at five.
Second Half Possession
The Eagles saw their first lead of the game scoring just 1:55 into the second half.
SU and BC traded the next six goals and headed into the final 10 minutes of play tied at eight.
But that changed at the 7:26 mark when BC’s Stanwick dodged an SU defender for an open shot she was able to punch in, to steal the lead back for the Eagles.
The next draw was won by SU but Taylor Gait’s equalizer was denied by the post.
SU's Taylor Poplawski scooped up the ground ball but the BC defense forced a turnover and maintained possession for three and a half minutes.
“The game plan was to just be really smart with our possessions and to try to lengthen the possession time so that we could wait for the right opportunity because you can’t get into a shootout with Syracuse because you will lose every time,” Boston College head coach Acacia Walker said.
During this crucial BC possession, the SU defense applied more aggressive one-on-one defensive pressure but were blanked when BC’s Stanwick found Caroline Margolis wide open in front of the cage putting the Eagles up 10-8 with 1:28 left to play.
“At the end of the game when a team is trying to stall and just spread out the field and pass around, it’s probably the hardest thing to play with in the last minutes,” SU defender Mallory Vehar said. “You need the ball back and you are busting your butt so it’s definitely frustrating to say the least.”
On SU’s very next possession, Riley Donahue slipped one past BC keeper Zoe Ochoa with 44 seconds remaining to put the Orange back within one.
But BC’s Rachel Igoe won the draw control and played keep away as time expired giving the Eagles the upset win to improve to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC.
“The great thing is they don’t hand out trophies in February that’s for sure, and we have an incredible schedule to go out and get better,” Gary Gait said.
The Treanor Effect
Junior Kayla Treanor, who currently leads the nation in points this season with 25, was face guarded all game and was held to no goals, no assists and no shots on goal.
“We put one of our biggest, strongest, most mentally tough kids on her [Treanor] and just told her to shut her down, try to not let her get the ball,” Walker said. “She’s arguably one of the best players in the country, if not the best, we have to do everything we can to stop her she’s just too good.”
Treanor, one of the 50 members on the 2015 Tewaaraton Award watch list, only recorded one draw control and one turnover in the Orange loss.
“She usually does pretty well against a face-guard,” Gary Gait said. “I think she just got frustrated and it kind of took her out of the game a little bit.”
Majorana led all Orange women with four points on two goals and two assists and Taylor Gait chipped in with a pair of goals.
Stanwick and Margolis each recorded four points for the Eagles.
Boston College Makes History
Saturday afternoon marked the first time in 13 meetings between the Orange and the Eagles that BC came away with the victory.
“It marks history for Boston College lacrosse, I think the biggest thing is that it makes them proud to be a Boston College Eagle and to be a party of history as a team is incredible,” Walker said. “We have a ton of individual records at school but no one cares about that, we only care about the wins and today was a big day for us.”
For Walker it was also personal, she was a former player for Gary Gait when he was an assistant coach at Maryland.
“I’ve looked up to Gary my whole life, I’ve tried to emulate him in almost everything I do, he’s just a phenomenal coach and it feels good to win, but I’ve got to give all the credit to my girls,” Walker said.
The Orange women will face their first road test Saturday, March 7 when they travel to College Park to face No. 1 Maryland.
The last time these two teams met was May 25, 2014 in the NCAA Division I National Championship game at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Maryland.
The Orange fell 15-12.