Syracuse pressure leads to Northwest errors, sends Orange to NCAA Championship game
Heading into Friday’s semifinal game, the undefeated Northwest Women’s lacrosse averaged just 19.7 fouls per game. Syracuse, on the other hand, is penultimate in the country with 31.32 offenses per game. The Wildcats also received eight yellow cards against the Oranges, a quirk for a team that averaged 2.2 yellow cards per game.
While the Orange stuck with their aggressive style of play, Syracuse also forced the Wildcats to play a looser, rougher style, which may have cost Northwestern a berth in the National Championship.
For Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, penalties were a deciding factor in Syracuse’s 21-13 victory.
“I feel like we got on our heels at the start, but I’m not sure about the faults. I’m going to have to watch the movie, ”Amonte Hiller said. “You can’t be in a game like this, play a great team and serve penalties the whole game. It is impossible to overcome.
Coach Gary Gait agreed with his former player-turned-coach, knowing full well that as the gap on the scoreboard widens, the losing team can warm up and do whatever it takes. it takes for something to happen.
“When they come down, like most teams do, they try to get the ball back, they try to squeeze us and they get a foul. And they did it, they got a lot of turnover, they kept the pressure on us. We made some mistakes, we certainly didn’t play perfectly, ”said Gait. “We got the job done. When you’re ahead of five, six, seven, eight goals, you’re going to foul the other team, and that’s what happened.
The Tyrrell sisters – who had 13 points against Northwestern – picked up on the Wildcats’ mistakes and used them as fuel for a winning performance. Emma, the younger sister who has moved to attack this season to fill injury voids, said she doesn’t like seeing her teammates beaten up. Opponents who do this just give him more of a reason to play.
“Anytime a team gets really aggressive I think it makes our team want more because we don’t like it when our teammates are attacked and everything,” Emma said. “When that happens, it really encourages us to come back and do whatever we can to make them regret receiving cards.”
Meaghan echoed her sister’s statement, knowing how an aggressive opponent can impact performance. She also gave the defense credit for making saves and creating turnovers by providing the change in momentum needed for Syracuse to pass the northwest.
At the root of it all, there was one thing: Syracuse wanted to prove that it – and not Northwestern – deserved second place in this year’s tournament. The Orange chased the Wildcats in the standings all season, but Northwestern has always led thanks to their unbeaten record.
The Orange revealed what some in lacrosse have argued from the start in that the Wildcats weren’t as good as their opponents Big Ten would allow. Syracuse has set up a scoring clinic, aided by eight man-up opportunities. With Northwestern on the sidelines – and North Carolina sent off by Boston College – Syracuse is set to prove it can win the bigger one.
“We’re so close to the national championship game, give it all you have for 60 minutes that you are assured that you will be able to have the next 60 minutes,” said Meaghan. “Leaving it all out on the pitch was my state of mind and the state of mind of the whole team during this game, and it clearly showed for us.
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