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Syracuse lost its first game of the season in overtime to No. 6 Northwestern on Tuesday. The Orange blew a fourth-quarter lead as they led the Wildcats 15-12 with 4:23 left and ultimately lost on a Lauren Gilbert free-position shot in sudden death.
Despite the defeat, Emily Hawryschuk notched a career-high nine points on six goals and three assists. After SU trailed 8-5 at half, Hawryschuk had back-to-back unassisted goals as part of an explosive third-quarter where SU outscored Northwestern 8-2. Now, Syracuse returns from its two-game road trip to host Duke in its second Atlantic Coast Conference game.
Here is everything you need to know before No. 3 Syracuse (4-1, 1-0 ACC) hosts No. 7 Duke (6-0, 0-0 ACC) on Sunday:
Syracuse leads series 8-4.
Last time they played
In then-head coach Gary Gait’s 200th career victory, Syracuse traveled to Durham, North Carolina, and easily defeated the Blue Devils 15-5. SU held the Blue Devils to its lowest number of goals scored in 2021 and their largest margin of defeat to an ACC team.
On 20 Duke shots, goalkeeper Asa Goldstock recorded 12 saves and was named US Lacrosse’s Player of the Week. It was a complete dominant defensive performance for the Orange, who tied their season-best for goals conceded with an April 16 matchup against Louisville.
Offensively, six different SU players scored, led by Meaghan Tyrrell’s five and Emma Ward’s four goals. After the Blue Devils leveled the game at 1-1, the Orange went on a 9-0 scoring run to conclude the first half, putting the game out of reach for the then-No. 10 ranked Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils report
Duke enters Sunday’s matchup undefeated scoring at least 20 goals in five of six matchups. However, none of its victories have been against a ranked opponent. Its best win was a 22-13 victory at High Point, who has the 40th best ELO rating, per Lacrosse Reference. The ELO system compares the relative strength of teams, and the higher the rating, the better the team. SU has already played four teams in the top 25 in terms of ELO rating, including Northwestern and Stony Brook who rank in the top 10.
Catriona Barry’s 30 and Katie DeSimone’s 25 goals lead the Blue Devils and rank in the top three nationally, though 19 different players have scored for Duke. The Blue Devils also move the ball around well, leading the country with 63 total assists.
How Syracuse beats Duke
Despite the Blue Devils averaging just under 22 goals per game, SU will be its first ranked and conference opponent this season. Syracuse has three ranked wins under its belt, plus an overtime victory at Notre Dame.
SU’s attack hasn’t been an issue all season as it averages 15.8 goals per game, which is top 15 nationally. But its blown fourth-quarter lead and issues with the draw control have allowed teams like Northwestern to get back into the games. If Syracuse can win the draw, limit free-position opportunities and get Meaghan Tyrrell and Megan Carney — who combined for one goal against the Wildcats — back involved, it should lead to a comfortable win over Duke.
Player to watch: Catriona Barry, midfield, No. 19
Through just six games in 2022, Barry has notched 40 points on 30 goals and 10 assists, beating her 2021 season totals. Her 30 goals ranks first nationally just ahead of Tewaaraton Award winner Charlotte North, who played her first two seasons at Duke.
Last season against Syracuse, she was ineffective being held scoreless. But now, she’s the primary threat and will challenge an SU scoring defense that ranks 56th. She had 11 points and seven goals against High Point, and her 12.3% play share, which measures how often a player appears in the box score, is the highest among Duke, per Lacrosse Reference.
Stat to know: 66.1% time of possession
Duke maintains possession of the ball at the nation’s best rate 66.1% of the time, per Lacrosse Reference, which could be a challenge to SU. Syracuse controls the ball about 50% of the time, per Lacrosse Reference, which ranks 63rd.
Against Northwestern, the Wildcats’ Jill Girardi recorded a career-high 13 draw controls, one fewer than the Orange’s total of 14. Girardi secured possession for the Wildcats, allowing them to set up goal-scoring opportunities for her or Gilbert as the two combined for 12 of Northwestern’s 16 goals.
The post Opponent Preview: Everything to know about No. 7 Duke appeared first on The Daily Orange.