Syracuse, N.Y — Even historically great womens college lacrosse programs have to re-focus on smaller steps to continue their success.
Thats where the Syracuse womens lacrosse team finds itself now, and it slogged through a driving rain to keep moving ahead on Sunday.
Emily Hawryschuk scored five times to help fifth-seeded SU overpower Georgetown 14-8 in a damp NCAA Division I tournament second-round game at the SU Soccer Stadium.
Sundays game will the 23rd all-time meeting between Syracuse and Georgetown. The Hoyas lead the all-time series, 14-8. Georgetown won the first 10 contests played between the two teams. Since that time, the Orange have come out on top in eight of the last 12 meetings, including the last four.
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The win was SUs first in the tournament in three years after the program reached the final four five straight seasons prior to that. That means that juniors like Hawryschuk and goalie Asa Goldstock (eight saves) had yet to experience postseason success prior to Sunday.
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This is the team thats going to do it, going to the end. If we didnt win this game, then it would have been a problem. So were going to take this and were going to run with it,” Hawryschuk said.
Me and Emily came into this thing together. Weve been good friends since we were kids, Goldstock said. I think that we both bring a lot of heart to our team. We want the best for our teammates. I think its been really hard for us these last three years being so close to getting that first win in the tourney. We knew that we could be better every single time. I think now we both feel like this is our time and we could do really well.
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The Orange (16-4) will visit fourth-seeded Northwestern in quarterfinal game next weekend. SU topped the Wildcats 15-14 in OT earlier this season.
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Its an opportunity for these kids to create history and create their own legacy for this team in particular and for themselves, said SU coach Gary Gait, who has run the team since 2007. What I love about playoff time is anything can happen and I love watching players step up and win games and win championships. We always talk about trying to teach how to do it. And you love when kids get it, when they buy in and the team gels and you create chemistry. And then all of sudden they have the potential to become a team that well talk about in history as one of our best teams.
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SUs steady offense wasnt slowed at all by the much. Syracuse led 7-4 at the half and the Hoyas drew no closer than three goals for the rest of the game.
John Hulbert is a dad and a coach. First, it was soccer and baseball. A while back, John and his family moved to Florida. Thats when Johns son decided he wanted to play lacrosse. And next thing you know, I became a lacrosse parent, Hulbert says. Every time he played, Hulberts son would put on gloves, elbow pads, arm pads, shoulder pads and a helmet. But when Hulberts daughter started playing the game, something was different. They only wore goggles, Hulbert says. Thats all they wore — goggles and a stick and cleats — and thats all they were required to have.
“Beautiful, sunny Syracuse. Here we go, Gait said. We knew it was going to be cold and wet. I dont think we quite expected that. Im proud of my team for stepping out there and competing, giving 100 percent and coming out on top, making the plays when we needed them in a little bit of a messy game. Muddy, slippery grass field always makes it tough. But happy to move on. I thought top to bottom we played pretty well.
Georgetown crept within 9-6 with 15:23 left, but Hawryschuk buried a free position shot with 10:12 remaining and Julie Cross added another goal for the Orange 1:18 later for an 11-6 cushion.
Hawryschuk now has 70 goals on the season. She has posted at least four goals in a game 14 times this year.
Just going out with a mindset of were not losing I think is what helped me carry through, Hawryschuk said. “This entire year our offense, especially, just has been very dominant no matter who has a game where theyre scoring lots of points. Just being able to have all of support each other is amazing.
The Hoyas Emily Ehle countered with a score to pull her team within four, but Sam Swart and Meaghan Tyrrell converted free position shots to boost SUs lead to six again with 5:17 left.
After going 9-3 in the regular season and 2-2 in ACC play, the Orange had to face North Carolina (a team they already beat) on the road in a 4/5 game as part of the leagues new tournament structure. Syracuse lost, dropping to 9-4 and then falling out of a seeded spot in the bracket. This, despite wins over Army, Duke and Johns Hopkins (all of which made the NCAAs).
We really got a lot of heart, a lot of character. And they bring it every game, Gait said of his team. Theyve been able to make plays and win games. Now were kind of in that second season. We get to really see what were made out of. Hopefully theyll continue to do what theyve done all year: score some goals, get some stops and win some more games.
Junior Morgan Alexander has bounced back from three right knee injuries that delayed the start of her career at Syracuse.
Share Share Syracuse womens lacrosse vs. Georgetown: TV/streaming, time, history & more tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email via @CuseWLax Teams: Syracuse Orange (15-4, 5-2) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (12-8, 3-2)
First Meeting: Syracuse lost to Georgetown, 17-9 on the road back in 1999. The Orange lost three straight to start that season, but took 12 of the last 13 to finish 12-4.
Last Meeting: Fittingly, Syracuse won the Big East title on their way out the door, defeating the Hoyas 14-7 in the 2013 championship game. SU took an early 6-3 lead, then completely ran through Georgetown in the second half to finish out the win. Kayla Treanor scored six goals for the Orange to lead the way.
Coach Bio: Fried played for UMBC and was an All-American midfielder for the Retrievers. He was an assistant coach with Johns Hopkins for nine seasons, then headed to Georgetown where he was an assistant as well before taking over the head job. See, he started fine at UMBC, then just made escalating terrible decisions from there. Fittingly, Georgetown hasnt made it past the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals with Fried at the helm.
Last Year: The Hoyas went 12-7, falling to Denver in the Big East Tournament, and then Virginia Tech in the NCAAs. As is customary, the Hoyas went 7-1 in league play, only to collapse in the postseason.
Last Game: In a rare feat, Georgetown won an NCAA Tournament game. Coming off a double overtime win over Denver to win the Big East Tournament, the Hoyas outlasted the favored Penn Quakers in double OT as well on Friday. Taylor Gebhardt scored seven goals for Georgetown. Worse still, they pulled this off playing in Syracuse. That should be illegal.
Fear Me, Ive Killed Hundreds of Timelords: Pick your poison between Gebhardt and Francesca Whitehurst. The two have combined for 141 points on the year (91 goals, 50 assists) and account for the lions share of the offense for Georgetown.
If Syracuse Wins: Syracuse will face the winner of Notre Dame vs. Northwestern on the other side of the quadrant. The Orange beat both teams already this year, but both wins came by just a single goal. Both were at home as well.
If Syracuse Loses: Welp… it would certainly be a disappointing finish for the fifth-seeded Orange, who havent won an NCAA Tournament game since 2016. This is definitely a Final Four-caliber team, so falling short of that on its own would be pretty deflating.