No. 3 Syracuse women's lacrosse falls flat in loss to Florida
On May 22, 2021, the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team defeated Florida 17-11 to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament, denying the Gators their first semifinal appearance in program history.
It appears that day was not forgotten in Gainesville.
The 13th-ranked Gators downed the Orange in the friendly confines of Donald R. Dizney Stadium, picking up their first ranked win of the season in style.
It can never hurt to have an All-American between the pipes, and Sarah Reznick was magnificent for the Gators. Her 11 saves were a season-high, and also the most by any goalkeeper against the Orange offense this season. Many of those saves were made at point-blank range, including a pair against Meaghan Tyrrell and Natalie Smith to shut down any hopes of a comeback late in the fourth quarter.
But great goalkeeping from the opposition still does not fully account for the poor performance Syracuse put together in this one. Turnovers plagued the normally prodigious Orange offense, which for the second game in a row, gave the ball away more often than they put it in the back of the net. Fifteen giveaways and 27 fouls combined to make this perhaps the sloppiest individual effort Syracuse has had all season.
In the process of being held to a season-low in goals, many of Syracuse’s top offensive players suffered off nights against the Gators. Megan Carney scored her lone goal with just over nine minutes to play, while also picking up three offensive fouls. Meaghan Tyrrell had just one goal as well, going 1-5 to set a season-low in shooting percentage. Emily Hawryschuck was the lone Orange player to net a hat trick, but even she had her low moments, tying for the team lead with three turnovers.
If there was one bright spot for Syracuse, it could be found in the draw circle. Katelyn Mashewske, who has struggled at times against some of the better draw teams in the country, played her best game of the season, helping Syracuse to a 17-11 draw advantage. This included a stretch of nine draw wins in ten tries throughout the second half, many of which Mashewske controlled herself. She finished the game with nine draw controls, a personal best for the season.
Defensively, the Orange improved throughout the night, but were ultimately unable to stop Tewaaraton Watch List honoree Danielle Pavinelli. The Florida sophomore scored a game-high four goals, including a top-shelf fireball that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. She now has 26 tallies in just seven games, putting her among the nation’s top 20 scorers on a per-game basis.
The Gators’ balanced scoring attack got them off to a fantastic start in the game’s first period, netting six goals from five different players. Maggi Hall netted the team’s first two, then Pavinelli, Emma LoPinto, Emily Heller and Ashley Gonzalez took turns tormenting Orange goalkeeper Kimber Hower. Hower let in seven goals without making a save before being replaced by Delaney Sweitzer early in the second quarter. Sweitzer made four saves while allowing seven Florida goals from that point forward.
From the second quarter on, the teams mainly traded blows, and that played to the Gators’ advantage. Florida led 6-1 after 1, 10-5 at halftime and 13-6 after three. Though the Orange finally scored three goals in a row in the final period, it was too little, too late for a team that had never faced a multi-goal deficit in any fourth quarter all season.
The loss is a tough pill to swallow, but the Orange will need to rebound quickly. Their next game, the third in a row Syracuse has played on the road, is less than 72 hours away in Blacksburg, Virginia. There, the Orange will look to move to 4-0 in ACC play against a Virginia Tech team that recently entered the top 25 for the first time all season. The opening whistle against the 7-3 Hokies will sound at 1 p.m.