The ACC Opener for the Orange yesterday did not disappoint as Syracuse dominated on both ends of the field yesterday in a win over the Blue Devils. The win also marked a milestone for Coach Gary Gait as it was his 200th career victory.
How it Happened:
Both teams got 1 point on the board to tie it up at 1 early in the first half, but freshman Emma Ward scored her first goal of the day at the 22 minute mark which was the catalyst for Syracuse's 9-0 scoring run. The "Meg Show" was in full effect yet again which the duo each scoring during the run. Goldstock continued to shut down attackers and midfielders alike as she made 7 saves in the first half and allowed only one goal.
Duke was able to get on the board first in the second half, but they couldn't continue to connect and Syracuse advanced their lead. The Blue Devils were able to find the back of the net a few more times before the horn blew, but they never gave Syracuse as much as a scare.
Goals: Meaghan Tyrrell (5), Emma Ward (4), Sam Swart (2); Megan Carney (2), Morgan Alexander (1), Emily Ehle (1).
Assists: Meaghan Tyrrell (1), Emma Ward (1), Sierra Cockerille (1).
"Next Man Up Mentality": When Emily Hawryschuk announced that she tore her ACL and was out for the season, we all were thrown for a loop, and maybe felt a little scared. This is one of, if not the best players in the country we are talking about, and she is out for the season before we even hit conference play? However, people have stepped up in her place right away. Also, this might feel out of left field, and is only one person's opinion, but sometimes when you take out a player like Hawryschuk who was a dominant scorer, the offense actually becomes more balanced as a result. Yesterday, there were six different scorers. The one offensive starter who did not score (Sierra Cockerille) had an assist. This is great because it means that everyone on the offensive side of the ball is a threat. It makes it hard for other teams to scout because they don't know who to focus on.
The Meg Show: "The Meg Show" has been a theme since the beginning of the year, but we saw the pair in full effect yesterday more than ever. Meaghan Tyrrell led Syracuse scoring with 5 goals and she also had an assist. Megan Carney also had 2 goals. The thing that is so great about these two is they always connect and they always compliment each other. If one is scoring a lot that day, the other will assist and vice versa. They take on the role that is needed of them and are both so versatile in their attacking positions.
Emma Ward: When you are starting for a top 2 team in the country as a freshman, it is because your confidence, maturity, and lacrosse IQ are well beyond your years and that is what we saw yesterday from Emma Ward. Ward went on a scoring tear yesterday scoring 4 goals total, one of which was was on a behind the back goal (like what? She's a freshman!) and another off of an 8-meter shot in which she did not even take one step off the 8-meter. She just fired it right as the whistle blew. Let me just say this now, because I always like making the early predictions: Ward is the next Levy. The similarities are evident in the way they shoot, and their ability to power through defenders. Ward was fearless yesterday, and now that she realized her own capabilities, it'll be interesting to see what she brings to the next few upcoming games.
GOLDSTOP: As long as Asa Goldstock has a game with a save percentage over 70%, you will see her name in every single article I write. That is how important her contributions have been. I frequently write about how lacrosse is a game of runs. Well, goalies are one way to stop runs from happening. Yesterday is such a good example of this because Duke and Syracuse both had 11 draw controls. They both had 11 opportunities to take the ball to the house. But as we all saw, that's not what happened. A big part of the reason why is because Goldstock had 14 saves and only 4 goals allowed. I need you all to really grasp this number. It's significant. Lacrosse is not a low scoring game, and yet Syracuse, who has played against predominantly ranked opponents, has not let any team score more than 3 goals in a half or 6 goals in a game. Goldstock is a big part of this, and so are the defenders in front of her. That being said, there is one, possibly two goalies in the country right now who could go head to head with Asa Goldstock, and one of those goalies is Notre Dame GK Bridget Deehan.
So prepare for a battle between two of the best goalies in the country this Thursday and Sunday when Syracuse takes on ND twice in the same weekend at home.