At the start of the third quarter, No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse was put in a two woman-up scenario. However, contrary to the expected, Maryland was unable to score. In fact, it turned the ball over, and 30 seconds later, the No. 4 Syracuse Orange capitalized in what turned out to be a microcosm of Friday’s game.
The 26th meeting all-time between the Maryland Terrapins and Syracuse Orange was a mostly brutal display by the away team, as the former was defeated 20-11.
Maryland lost the opening draw control and, after a subsequent foul, quickly found itself down 1-0. A quick cut from Syracuse attacker Megan Carney and a beautiful feed from attacker Meaghan Tyrrell put the Orange on the board first. Tyrrell had six assists in her team’s previous matchup versus high-powered Northwestern.
In the beginning of the game, Syracuse took its time on offense, setting picks and employing a number of handoffs. When graduate defender Abby Bosco received a yellow card, putting Syracuse in a woman-up situation, Syracuse calmly executed some crafty offense to find Meaghan Tyrrell for a wide-open shot less than five feet away from the goal.
Head coach Cathy Reese praised Tyrrell for her sublime ability.
“She’s a great player. She sees the field well, she moves the ball well. She can shoot the lights out of the ball. I think most of their offense can,” Reese said.
Down two goals, Maryland struck back after a strong defensive stand. Junior attacker Eloise Clevenger was the one to break the silence for the Terps, striking on a free position shot.
Syracuse’s offense was relentless, however, and used its dynamism to its advantage. The pick-and-roll game was clearly its friend, and its midfielders operated in a point guard-esque role.
In the first quarter, the story was Tyrrell, who had three goals and dished out two assists. Additionally, Maryland began to penetrate the stifling Syracuse zone defense. In the last two minutes of the quarter, the Terps scored three straight. The score was 6-5 at the end of the period.
In the second quarter, the Orange rattled off a 3-0 run, including another woman-up goal by Meaghan Tyrrell in the same vicinity as her last.
But the Terps struck back when junior attacker Victoria Hensh scored on a free position shot. They managed to stay in the game, despite the Orange leading the Terps 12-7 in first-half draw controls. The Orange also had four three-second violations in the half, but even with the second-chance opportunities, the Terps were unable to capitalize.
Midfielder Shaylan Ahearn commented on the team’s communication and chemistry.
“I think that the biggest thing is just trusting one another,” she said. “I think we need to let the new players know that we trust them and we trust what they’re capable of.”
Syracuse goaltender Delaney Sweitzer had six saves in the first half, many of which were quite impressive. She let up very few rebounds and was a huge part of the Orange leading 11-6 at half.
In the third quarter, the Orange began to run away with the game, deflating the Terps’ morale along the way. Delaney Sweitzer made a few amazing saves on a number of Maryland’s free position shot opportunities.
Reese commented on the shooting woes, stating, “we had more shots than Syracuse did, except they put theirs on goal and shot the snot out of the ball and we didn’t.”
Smartly, the Orange began to waste some time as their lead grew. On a few occasions they were able to score as the shot clock dwindled down, capitalizing on cutters and using their stellar shooters as bait to draw multiple defenders. The Terps only scored two goals in the third quarter, which concluded with a 16-8 score.
“Let’s be all in. Let’s be all in and trust everyone,” Ahearn stated when asked about what future improvements could be made. “Let’s rely on one another and let’s play our hardest.”
In the final frame, Meaghan Tyrrell continued her dominance, scoring two right off the bat. The Orange were able to take advantage of the Terps’ help defense, which often came too late.
Despite a quick two goals by the Terps in the middle of the quarter to cut the lead to seven, it ultimately proved to be a fruitless attempt at a comeback. The Orange managed the clock extremely well and thrashed Maryland by nine.
“We have a lot of things that we need to work on and a lot of adjustments that we need to make,” Reese said. “Syracuse was by far the better team today and they outplayed us all over the field.”
The Terps will look to rebound on Tuesday at 2 p.m. when they visit Drexel.
Three things to know
1. Syracuse’s offense exploded. Meaghan Tyrrell, who is considered by many to be the best attacker in the nation, had her way against the Terps, putting up a career-high 11 points. Carney and midfielder Emma Tyrrell also put up noteworthy numbers in the scoring barrage. The key for this offense was simple: patient picks and weaves. Another interesting aspect of this attack was how often they dodged from the X position, and how successful they were at it.
2. Lapses on defense. It was astonishing that the Orange were able to score multiple times in woman-down situations, one of which being a two woman-down scenario. The big picture problem, however, was not Maryland senior goalie Emily Sterling. Despite posting a .231 save percentage, the issue was the Terps’ inability to guard in man-to-man defense. Additionally, there were too many lapses in guarding assignment. Far too often, players with star pedigree — like Meaghan Tyrrell — were alone in front of the cage.
3. Draw control issues and Delaney Sweitzer plagued the Terps. Both were problems that hindered the Terps from success in today’s matchup. Firstly, the Terps lost the draw control battle 18-16. Of course, this created a time of possession advantage for the Orange, which left very little room for error against Syracuse’s potent and star-studded offense.
Orange goalkeeper Delaney Sweitzer was amazing Friday, posting a career-high 13 saves, beating her previous high of 11. Had she not been as sharp as she was in net, Maryland could have put up a far more competitive effort.