SU women's lacrosse starts slow, rallies to reach national semifinals

After allowing three early goals, Syracuse stormed past Boston College, 11-9, and into the final four.

Through nearly 17 minutes of play in Saturday's NCAA quarterfinal at the Carrier Dome, the normally-explosive Syracuse offense had mustered only one shot and no goals. With Boston College holding a 3-0 advantage, the Orange needed some kind of spark.

It got one from Katie Webster, and then the flood gates opened.

Webster's free-position goal with 13:09 remaining in the first half kickstarted an 8-1 run that helped propel SU to an 11-9 victory and a third-consecutive trip to the national semifinals. The Orange will face Virginia in Towson, Md., on Friday with a spot in the national championship game on the line.

However, the win was not an easy one. Thanks to a series of well-executed slides and double-teams by the Eagles, Tewaaraton finalists Alyssa Murray and Kayla Treanor struggled to generate any offense. Luckily, their teammates stepped in to fill the void.

"We figured they were going to do something similar to that, but they obviously did that even more so this game," said Murray in regard to the defensive pressure. "Every time I got the ball and they slid, I kept looking back to the top to Katie, Bridget (Daley) and whoever was there."

After Webster finally put the Orange on the board, Daley answered with one of her own to further cut the deficit. The latter later scored again to give the Orange a 5-4 lead, one it would not relinquish.

Daley has provided a boost to the Syracuse lineup since returning from a broken foot, and Saturday was no exception. She made a number of hustle plays and picked up a key draw control late in the game.

"We believed and trusted, and (Daley) did all the work that she needed to do," SU head coach Gary Gait said, "and now she's back and doing what she was dreaming about."

The Eagles mounted a charge in the second half thanks to Moira Barry's three tallies, including one with only 1:09 remaining in the game. However, Natalie Glanell scored her only goal of the season 49 seconds later to seal the victory.

BC midfielder Kate McCarthy was proud of the way her team played and said their plan to contain Murray and Treanor nearly worked.

"Unfortunately, (Katie) Webster and other girls stepped up pretty nicely," she said.

Murray commended the Eagles, saying she felt like she had been facing seven defenders at once. However, she also credited her teammates for stepping up to make plays.

And that depth throughout the lineup could be the key to capturing the first national championship in program history next weekend.

"We're not ready to go home," Murray said. "We want to go all the way, We're a team with a mission."

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