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In a 17-16 overtime thriller against Notre Dame on Saturday, Syracuse earned its fourth win of the season to stay undefeated after Meaghan Tyrrell scored the game-winning goal. On Tuesday, the Orange looked to win its fifth straight game in an NCAA semifinal rematch against Northwestern, who SU beat 21-13 to advance to the championship.
But on Tuesday, the Wildcats outscored the Orange 5-2 in the final period, sending the game to overtime before Lauren Gilbert won the game in overtime, handing SU its first loss of the season.
Here are some observations from No. 3 Syracuse’s (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) 16-15 loss against No. 6 Northwestern (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten):
Head coach Kayla Treanor hasn’t yet decided on a full-time starting goalkeeper through Syracuse’s five games this season. In her only half against Notre Dame, Delaney Sweitzer struggled after letting in eight goals. This time she let in eight against Northwestern as well.
On the Wildcats’ first goal, Sweitzer initially recovered a loose ball. Erin Coykendall snuck up behind her before she could get an outlet pass off and knocked the ball loose. Coykendall picked up the loose ball and Sweitzer fouled the Northwestern forward, resulting in an open-net free play four minutes into the game. Coykendall easily scored and the Wildcats went up 1-0.
Seven minutes into the period Sweitzer was playing high up when she received a pass with Northwestern defenders near her. Before Sweitzer got rid of the ball, the defenders swarmed her and she couldn’t escape, and she held onto the ball for nearly 15 seconds before Treanor was forced to call a timeout.
With three minutes remaining in the second quarter and down 6-5, Sweitzer still struggled to release the ball on time as Coykendall snuck up behind her again and forced a turnover. Sweitzer came out of the net to try and recover once again which left a wide-open net for Coykendall to score her second goal of the night.
Draw control inconsistency
In the Final Four against Northwestern last season, Syracuse won the faceoff battle 19-14, which was a key factor in the win. On Tuesday, however, Jill Girardi won the first three draws against Kate Mashewske which contributed to Syracuse’s slow start.
On one play in particular neither player won the draw so every surrounding player ran toward the loose ball. Girardi eventually chased the ball down and emerged with it from the scrum leading to a goal, which forced Treanor to make an adjustment. She then threw in Emily Hawryschuk, who won the next two faceoffs allowing Syracuse to end the half winning the draw control battle 8-7.
At the start of the second half, Mashewske returned to midfield and won the first faceoff allowing Hawryschuk to score a quick goal. But Syracuse struggled the rest of the second half and gave the Wildcats too many opportunities off faceoffs, losing the regulation draw control battle 20-14, which allowed Northwestern to extend the game to overtime.
Mashewske lost the only faceoff in the extra frame, and Northwestern quickly called a time out, drew up a play, and scored the game-winning goal.
Hawryschuk heats up
Syracuse finished the first half with 11 turnovers and couldn’t handle Northwestern’s pressure early in the game.
Although Syracuse struggled offensively in the first half at times, Hawryschuk was one of the lone bright spots for the Orange. Hawryschuk scored or assisted on four of five first-half goals to keep the Orange in the game.
Ten minutes into the third quarter, she recorded her seventh point on her third free-play goal of the game to give Syracuse a 9-8 lead. Before the referees blew the whistle, Hawryschuk wound up her stick and lasered in a shot that Madison Doucette had no chance to save.
In the fourth quarter, Hawryschuk earned her career-high ninth point when she scored her sixth goal. Megan Carney passed it to her from behind the net and Hawryschuk buried Syracuse’s 15th goal of the game.
Still, her effort wasn’t enough, as her attempt at a game-winning goal was overwritten by Doucette in the final minute of regulation.
Meaghan Tyrrell’s quiet day
With five minutes left in the second quarter, Meaghan earned her first opportunity to score after she was hit in the face with a stick trying to dodge past a defender, resulting in a free position. Meaghan preemptively began running towards the net for a goal but a false start overruled her free play.
Meaghan was held to only one shot in the first half and didn’t register a point. It wasn’t until the third quarter with seven minutes remaining when Meaghan was able to exploit a lack of pressure from Northwestern, as she cut right in along the left side of the net, catching a pass from Jenny Markey and adding to a 5-0 SU run to give it a 10-8 lead.
Syracuse continued to score and had 15 goals in the evening, but Meaghan would only take one more shot. She fell three goals below her previous 4.25 goal per game average and went without an assist, which is partially why the Orange struggled early on and couldn’t extend their lead late in the fourth quarter.
The post Observations from SU’s OT loss to No. 6 Northwestern: Hawryschuk on fire, faceoff struggles appeared first on The Daily Orange.