No. 4 Syracuse women’s lacrosse holds off late rally, knocks off No. 6 Loyola
The Orange beat the previously undefeated Greyhounds behind strong performances by Kimber Hower and Emma Tyrrell. WAER’s Lauren Helmbrecht tells us how Syracuse stayed calm during a last-second comeback attempt from Loyola.
Within the first eight minutes of game time in the Carrier Dome, one thing was made clear: Kimber Hower was feeling confident. The redshirt junior in goal for the Orange held undefeated Loyola to just one goal on three shots in the opening minutes. The one made goal came from Livy Rosenzweig, who led her team in goals and points coming into the game.
As the game progressed, the Orange’s staunch defense, efficient offense, and lock-down play in net helped put the team up by five with 13:11 left in the fourth quarter. Emily Hawryschuk got the assist on Olivia Adamson’s goal and the Orange held a 14-9 lead.
Supported by her team’s defensive efforts, junior midfielder Emma Tyrrell had her second game-leading performance with seven points off four goals and three assists. After she’d earned eight points on Saturday against Temple, coach Kayla Treanor was asked if Tyrrell was on a run.
“No, I definitely don't think it's a hot streak. I think she's one of the best players in the country. And I think she shows it game in and game out. It's not just what you see on the stat sheet,” said Treanor in the post-game press conference.
But even with Tyrrell’s dominating performance, something clicked for the Greyhounds' offense in the fourth, and a victory that had once seemed out of reach got close to becoming a reality. Loyola went on a four-goal scoring streak in the fourth and held Syracuse out of the scoring column for 13 minutes.
A momentum shift could be felt in the Dome after senior midfielder Jillian Wilson’s second goal in the fourth at the 8:58 mark. The small but loudly engaged Loyola fanbase ramped up their cheering, the Greyhounds sideline started jumping up and down, and just three goals separated these top-ten ranked teams.
Kimber Hower stepped up big during this Greyhounds attack, earning five of her 12 total saves in the fourth. Hower’s previous record high for saves was eight.
With 1:37 left in the game, Hower denied a shot by Sydni Black which would have cut the Orange’s lead to just one. Just over a minute later, Jillian Wilson scored her third goal of the quarter to make the score 14-13 with 0:23 left. The Greyhounds won the draw control and found the back of the net with 0:12 left, but that final goal was disallowed because of off-setting penalties.
After a final turnover by the Greyhounds, graduate midfielder Tessa Queri gained control and ran out the clock for a second-straight Orange win.
Syracuse’s sideline cleared and the team ran towards Hower in goal to give her a huge hug following the career day. However, Megan Carney didn’t join the sprint. Carney was in sweats the whole game and didn’t play. Coach Kayla Treanor said Carney had a lower-body injury and was day to day. Carney had previously played in all ten games of the season and was second in assists on the team before this game.
The Orange are now three and one against top-ten ranked opponents and knocked off one of the last remaining undefeated teams in Division 1. Senior defender Sarah Cooper said that taking down a winning team like Loyola gives the Orange some extra motivation.
“It's hard because you know, that they're coming here to play their best game versus us. So and we're fighting back. I mean, we have two losses. So like, we don't want to lose again…So I think that also really fueled our fire today.”
As for the final undefeated team in the nation, Syracuse (9-2) will match up against the 11-0 University of North Carolina on April 9. But first, the Orange will look to stay undefeated (4-0) in ACC play against Pittsburgh this Saturday, April 2 in the Carrier Dome.