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Syracuse returned home for its second Atlantic Coast Conference game to face No. 7 Duke after a two-game road trip where both games went into overtime. The Orange split the games, defeating then No. 17 Notre Dame 17-16 before losing their first game of the season to No. 6 Northwestern three days later.
SU started poorly as Duke scored eight unanswered goals to go up 9-2 at the end of the first quarter. But Syracuse fought back, creating a 17-14 lead with five minutes remaining before Duke would cut it to 17-16. But a Sam Swart goal with 25 seconds left sealed the comeback victory as SU won 18-16.
Here are some observations from No. 3 Syracuse’s (5-1, 2-0 ACC) win over No. 7 Duke (6-1, 0-1 ACC):
Meaghan Tyrrell leads second-half surge
After SU trailed 9-2 at the end of the first quarter, it seemed SU was going to lose its second consecutive game for the first time since 2018. But SU cut the deficit to 12-8 at half, and Meaghan Tyrrell carried it through the third quarter on a four-goal run after going scoreless in the first half.
The first goal of the run started when Emily Hawryschuk went behind the goal, finding Meaghan right at the crease for an easy score. Later, Meaghan was on the right side of the 8-meter, falling to the turf as she sent a low-rolling shot to equalize the game at 12-12. And in the fourth quarter, Meaghan received a pass from Emma Tyrrell and dodged past multiple Duke defenders for the score, giving SU a 16-14 lead — its largest at that point.
Draw control struggles early, improves
Last Tuesday, Northwestern’s Jill Girardi shredded Syracuse at the draw. She notched 13 draw controls, just one less than SU as a team.
And on Sunday, that trend continued, especially in the first quarter. Per Lacrosse Reference, Duke entered with the nation’s best time of possession rate, controlling the ball 66.1% of play while averaging a nationwide best 21.33 draw controls per game. In the first quarter, Duke’s Maddie Jenner caused problems for Kate Mashewske as Duke won the draw control battle 9-3.
But in the following quarters, Mashewske, Hawryschuk and the rest of the draw team managed to get more possessions off the draw. In the second and third quarters, both teams recorded the same amount of draws which limited Blue Devil possessions and shot opportunities. In the last three quarters combined, Duke barely won the draw 12-11.
Catriona Barry carries Duke offense
Entering as the nation’s leading goal-scorer, Syracuse knew Catriona Barry was going to be a threat. The Blue Devils always found Barry in the same spot, right behind the goal and a little bit to the right. From there, Duke would begin its offense with cuts through the 8-meter and Barry would launch the accurate pass in-stride for easy Blue Devil goals.
On the first score goal, after Katie Keller secured the draw control, the ball made its way to Barry behind the cage. She made a simple pass to Eva Greco for the equalizing goal and the first of the 8-0 run. And Duke’s next two goals would be replicas of the first with Barry assisting Abby Landry and Greco once again. Within 11 minutes of the first quarter, Barry had tied her career-high four assists.
Besides assists, she also found the back of the net on her own. After Cubby Biscardi came from behind Jenny Markey and turned the ball over, Duke passed it back to goalie Sophia LeRose and to clear, LeRose passed it deep to Barry. She ran all the way inside the 8-meter and scored an unassisted goal as Duke went up 11-7. By the end of the first half, Barry had seven points on three goals and four assists.
Hower plays whole game
For the first five games, head coach Kayla Treanor split playing time among the goalies as Delaney Sweitzer played the first half and Kimber Hower played the second. But on Sunday, Hower became the first goalie to play a full 60 minutes.
On Sunday, Hower conceded many goals early as Duke had easy opportunities right in front of the cage. Though she allowed 12 goals in the first half, she limited Duke to four in the second, making a crucial save on a Barry shot with 1:52 left in the fourth quarter to secure the comeback.
The post Observations from SU’s win against No. 7 Duke: 2nd-half surge, draw improves appeared first on The Daily Orange.