Strong Second Half Gives Orange Women Win Over Big Red
Published on April 19, 2017
Story by Ashley Moore
Photos by Dontae Harris
SYRACUSE, N.Y — A close first half followed by a strong second half propelled No. 7 Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse past No. 12 Cornell in the Orange women’s regular season home finale, 11-8 in the Carrier Dome Tuesday night.
It was Syracuse’s fifth straight win, and third in a row over a Top 20 team (Virginia Tech, then No. 20 and North Carolina, No.2)
“The defense stepped up in the second half and really came through for us,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said.
Playing From Behind
Syracuse (13-4, 5-1 ACC) never held a lead in the first half. Cornell (10-3, 5-0 Ivy League) got off to a quick start as sophomore attack Sarah Phillips scored just over a minute into the contest. Senior attack Devon Parker answered back with her first of two goals in the half, but Syracuse continued to play catch-up.
Cornell’s largest lead was two with nearly five minutes to go in the half, when senior midfield Kristy Gilbert ended a nine minute cold-streak for the Big Red with a quick release goal off of a high pass from Sarah Phillips.
Just before the end of the half, Parker re-entered the game after serving a two-minute penalty. Shortly after, Riley Donahue tied the game at five on a close-net ground ball after junior midfield, Neena Merola’s shot was denied by Cornell goalie Renee Poullott, who had 14 saves in the game.
“I just happened to be in the right position, and saw an open net and shot it,” said Donahue, who had two goals and three assists in the game.
Back to the Basics
The Orange came out attacking early, going on a 5-1 run in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Parker scored her third goal of the game in the first minute of the second half, giving Syracuse its first lead at 6-5.
Parker also had two assists in the game.
“We just started playing our offense instead of playing into their defense like we did in the first half,” Parker said.
Just five minutes later, Cornell’s Sarah Phillips ricocheted the ball off the ground and into the net to tie the game at six, but that was as close as the game would get as the Orange defense swarmed the Big Red in front of the goal and Asa Goldstock came up strong, totaling eleven saves.
Syracuse pulled away from Cornell with great defense and even better offense, handing Cornell its first loss by multiple goals.
“A little better timing, a little better looking for each other and communication in the second half,” Gait said.
Cornell will go on to face Ivy League opponent, Princeton at home, Saturday at 1 p.m.
Syracuse goes on the road to play Louisville in its ACC regular season finale Saturday, at 1 p.m.
The ACC tournament starts the following Thursday in Richmond, Virginia. The Orange is tied with North Carolina at the top of the conference.