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After its fourth-quarter comeback against then-No. 3 Boston College fell short in a 15-13 loss, No. 3 Syracuse traveled to South Bend, Indiana, for Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals as it faced No. 16 Virginia on Friday. The Orange previously defeated the Cavaliers 17-11 on March 12 led by a 5-0 second-quarter run and Meaghan and Emma Tyrrell’s combined eight goals and 11 points.
On Friday, UVA entered in a must-win situation to be eligible for the NCAA Tournament. With a defeat, it would fall below .500, becoming ineligible for the first time in Virginia head coach Julie Myers’ 27-year tenure. In the first quarter the teams combined for 11 goals as the Cavaliers entered the second half with a 9-8 lead.
But in the third quarter, UVA capitalized on the Orange’s penalties, scoring three woman-up goals as a part of a 5-0 run that fueled an upset 18-14 victory over the Orange, as SU lost two consecutive games for the first time since 2018.
Here are some observations from No. 3 Syracuse’s 18-14 upset defeat to No. 16 Virginia:
Yellow cards fuel UVA’s 5-0 run
In the third quarter alone, Syracuse committed several fouls which resulted in four yellow cards. It led to multiple woman-up opportunities, some of which included non-releasable penalties. At one point, Meaghan, Natalie Smith and Bianca Chevarie were all serving their respective two-minute penalties, overlapping with each other.
As the final SU player was about to be released, Morgan Schwab scored near the left side of the crease and put UVA up 15-11, scoring the fifth goal of a 5-0 run which gave the Cavaliers their largest lead of the game at that point. On some yellow cards, it allowed UVA a chance at the free position, where it punished the Orange throughout the night. UVA also had three woman-up goals.
The 5-0 run was the main factor in Friday’s defeat for the Orange, which only managed six goals in the entire second half. On the day, SU finished with five yellow cards and a green card after Jenny Markey continued playing without securing her goggles.
Heavy offensive start
In the first quarter, nearly every possession featured a goal scored as the sides combined for 11 goals on 18 shots in the opening frame. Syracuse’s offensive plays worked well multiple times in the opening quarter. To cut UVA’s lead to 3-2, Maddy Baxter dodged from near the left side of the 12-meter towards a screen set by Meaghan. Baxter wrapped around it and the Cavalier defender didn’t notice it which created enough separation for a left-handed goal.
Later, Syracuse worked its weave offense as Olivia Adamson jogged along the top of the 12-meter from right to left before dumping it off to Emily Hawryschuk who was going the opposite direction. Hawryschuk dodged into the 8-meter, setting herself for a right-handed shot to the lower left of the net which snuck past goalkeeper Ashley Vernon.
And on another play, Meaghan tried to dodge to create a shooting window inside the 8-meter, but she didn’t have an angle. She passed to the edge of the 8-meter to Megan Carney who quickly reconnected with her as Meaghan cut towards the goal and scored to tie the game at four.
But Virginia was also successful early on, scoring five goals of its own in the opening frame. As Sam Swart attempted to lead a clear, she lost control of the ball which allowed UVA to launch a pass deep to Schwab who was all alone charging toward the net. She easily scored to tie the game at five. And on the Cavaliers’ first goal of the day, Schwab started dodging from behind the goal to the left side and stopped to allow Mackenzie Hoeg to cut towards the crease and scored between Hower’s legs.
April 22 against Boston College, Syracuse conceded 13 free positions as the Eagles shot the ball eight times on those attempts. On Friday, SU continued to give up the easy opportunities, allowing the Cavaliers to score higher-percentage goals.
After Syracuse committed a three-second violation, Schwab lined up to shoot from the left side of the 8-meter. She rifled one that hit the right post which deflected out to Rachel Clark, who immediately earned another free-position shot after an Orange shooting space violation. This time, the Cavaliers capitalized as Clark went to the upper right.
On another possession, the Orange conceded a woman-up opportunity when Smith picked up a yellow card for a check to the head. The Cavaliers generated an SU shooting space violation on the ensuing possession which allowed Clark to score again.
Hower replaced, but back again
In the first half alone, Hower conceded nine goals with just one save, recording a 10% save percentage. She entered Friday’s game recording at least three saves in SU’s last nine games. Before that, Hower only recorded one save in SU’s loss to Florida where she was replaced by Delaney Sweitzer early in the second quarter.
To start the second half, head coach Kayla Treanor substituted Delaney for Hower. Delaney wouldn’t get off to the strongest start, allowing four goals in the first 12 minutes of the third quarter. But after a UVA free-position goal conceded by Delaney, Hower reentered and on the first shot attempt against her, McGovern scored a free-position goal similar to the goal before. Hower would play the remaining 18 minutes of the game, but Delaney and Hower combined for only one save.
The post Observations from No. 16 UVA’s 18-14 upset win vs. No. 3 SU: Yellow cards, goalie struggles appeared first on The Daily Orange.