Orange blowout Bearcats with well-rounded performance

A 12-point first half performance helped No. 5 Syracuse decimate Cincinnati.

The Syracuse Orange women's lacrosse team used a well-balanced attack to handily defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats 21-6 Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. Eighteen players recorded a point for the No. 5 Orange (9-3, 5-0), who remains undefeated in Big East play.

The Orange controlled the game throughout, but especially dominated in the first half, where they took a 12-1 lead into halftime.

“It was a solid team effort top to bottom,” head coach Gary Gait said. “We opened up the game playing hard.”

Only juniors Alyssa Murray and Amy Cross recorded more than two points for the Orange in the win. Murray led the way with three goals and three assists. Cross scored one goal and two assists, highlighted by nice teamwork with Bridget Daley. She assisted Daley on the team’s second goal of the game, and then received a pass from Daley to score the third goal less than 90 seconds later.

The Orange didn’t allow the Bearcats (6-7, 0-5) many second chances, as they were 15-17 on clears, including 12-13 in the first half. Syracuse goalie Kelsey Richardson faced only three shots in the first half before being replaced by Alyssa Costantino and later Shannon Byrne in the second half.

Richardson saved the first two attempts, but the third, shot by Bearcat Megan Bell, put Cincinnati on the scoreboard with 13 seconds before halftime. Bell went on to earn a hat trick, scoring half of her team’s goals.

Turnovers were key for the Orange. They forced 23 on the day, and prevented five of Cincinnati’s 16 clear attempts, many of which led to quick scoring opportunities before the Bearcats could set up their defense.

“I think one of our major focuses this year is to really start getting some more caused turnovers on the ride,” Murray said.

With the Orange in control for the majority of the contest, Gait was able to use his reserves more in the second half, getting 36 players on the field.

“It’s nice to get those players who have been practicing all year long an opportunity to go out there and play,” he said.

Sophomore Paige Savia, one of five players to score their first goal of the season today, said she appreciated the sentiment.

“It feels good because at practice the starters encourage us and know that we can do what we’re capable of doing,” she said.

Kayla Treanor, the freshman standout who came into the game third on the team with 37 points, was relatively quiet, scoring one goal. However she was still excited with her fellow freshmen’s contributions.

“Today was a great opportunity for our class to show what we bring to our team,” she said. “A lot of us got to play, and we show a bright future.”

Looking ahead, the Orange will play their third game in five days when they take on Cornell Tuesday at the Dome. Gait said he’s not worried about the quick turnaround, and actually prefers it to having a lot of time off.

“It really comes down to energy, focus, and awareness,” he said of the team’s ability to play well in these types of stretches.

Murray said she hopes the team can continue its play.

“We’ve really gotten into a groove,” she said. “We need to continue to get some chemistry going and carry that throughout the rest of the season, because this is where you want to start peaking as a team.” 

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