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Meaghan Tyrrell had the ball on the right side of the 12-meter. Besides the goalkeeper, the only one in her path to the goal was Duke’s Kay Conway. Meaghan dodged past Conway and approached goalie Sophia LeRose, slipping it past her and scoring the final goal of a 4-0 third-quarter run that leveled the game at 12.
The goal forced Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel to call a timeout as the Blue Devils had blown a seven-goal, first-quarter lead. After being silenced in the first half, Meaghan’s goal was just one of four that she had in the third quarter alone as her third-quarter dominance ignited No. 3 Syracuse’s (5-1, 2-0 ACC) comeback victory over No. 7 Duke (6-1, 0-1 ACC) as SU avoided losing consecutive games for the first time since 2018.
Against Northwestern on Tuesday, Meaghan was not in the usual form that Syracuse has seen this season. Despite usually finding scoring opportunities with ease this season, Meaghan found the net only once against the Wildcats and fellow attack Emily Hawryschuk carried the bulk of the load, recording a career-high nine points.
In the first half on Sunday against the Blue Devils, it seemed Meaghan was continuing the mini-slump as she was held scoreless despite the team finishing with eight first-half goals.
But out the break, Meaghan built off the momentum the Orange had started to build in the second quarter. It didn’t happen immediately as Duke won the opening draw to start the second half. Duke didn’t score, and a few minutes later, after Meaghan scooped up a ground ball, the ball made its way to Hawryschuk on the left side of the 12-meter.
Hawryschuk dodged and ultimately decided to move behind the goal, but sneaking in front of the cage was Meaghan. Hawryschuk quickly connected with Meaghan on the short, easy pass as SU’s season-leading goal-scorer put away the look for her first goal of the afternoon, ending a goalless drought that stretched over 50 minutes between Tuesday’s game and Sunday’s.
“Duke was sending their defense early for second slides, so being able to draw that attention, have our backside be open was something we were really focusing on especially as the pressure kept coming,” Meaghan said.
Seconds later, after Meaghan’s younger sister Emma Tyrrell recorded a draw control, Meaghan scored her second goal of the game on a Sam Swart assist as SU now only trailed 12-10. Draw improvements gave the Orange more scoring opportunities. In the first quarter, SU lost the draw control 9-3 while keeping it nearly even for the last three quarters.
After Meaghan’s equalized the game at 12 with 8:22 left in the third quarter, it marked her third goal of a 4-0 SU run that happened in just under four minutes. And while Duke responded and ended its scoring drought, Meaghan returned the favor with just over two minutes left in the third.
Similar to her previous goal, Meaghan tried to dodge around a Duke defender. She struggled to get around Katie Cosgrove’s tight defense — even losing her balance — but as Meaghan slowly tumbled to the ground, she sneaked in a low-rolling shot around Cosgrove that beat LeRose and tied the game at 13.
“We’re really good in the third quarter,” head coach Kayla Treanor said. “(Meaghan) did awesome and she was able to see the net, finish and it was just more organized in the third quarter.”
After Megan Carney gave SU its first lead since when it led 1-0, Meaghan received a pass from her sister and dodged through multiple Blue Devils before shooting the ball from just outside the cage to give her five goals and the Orange a 16-14 lead.
Carney matched Meaghan’s strong performance with another of her own. Carney also scored five goals, including three in the fourth quarter that put Syracuse up 17-14.
But just like Notre Dame, Northwestern and Stony Brook did, Duke started to narrow down that Syracuse lead, and it only trailed 17-16 with three minutes left. This time, though, SU secured the win, fueled by Meaghan’s third-quarter surge. It was the surge that managed to get Syracuse back in the game and, in the end, lift them over a Blue Devils team that had entered the game outscoring its opponents 131-39.
“Being down 9-2, like mentally, physically that’s not easy so for us to come out here and play the rest of the game with our heads up and be able to put up 18 goals on the board and come back to win. That’s so huge,” Meaghan said.
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