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No. 3 Syracuse started its season with a 12-9 back-and-forth win over No. 13 Stanford. The Tyrrell sisters scored eight of the 12 goals against the Cardinal, with Meaghan leading the way with six.
The game also saw Syracuse split up goalie work between Delaney Sweitzer and Kimber Hower. Sweitzer conceded six goals, with Stanford scoring three in a row in the first quarter. Hower came in for the Orange in the second half, making five saves and only allowing three goals.
Following the win, the Orange turn around to host unranked Binghamton on Sunday. SU looks to build on its first game by taking on a Bearcats team that finished in the middle of the America East Conference last season.
Here’s everything you need to know before No. 3 Syracuse hosts Binghamton on Sunday:
Syracuse leads 8-0.
Last time they played
The two programs played two years ago before the 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19. The Orange dominated the Bearcats in a 20-2 win, with SU outscoring the Bearcats 15-0 in the first half. Emily Hawryschuk opened up the scoring with a goal in the first four minutes and scored four of the first eight goals, finishing with a team-high six. Megan Carney was second in the team in scoring, finishing with four goals.
The defense, led by Sarah Cooper, Ella Simkins and Kerry Defliese, remained stout. With a score of 15-0 at halftime and having faced zero shots, Asa Goldstock was pulled from the game. Syracuse finished with an adjusted possessions +/- mark of +14, its second-highest tally of the season, per LacrosseReference.
The Bearcats Report
As its 2021 record indicates, Binghamton was average in many offensive categories. The Bearcats finished fourth in their conference in goals per game (12.38), fifth in shots on goal per game (21.5) and fourth in offensive efficiency (28.4%), according to LacrosseReference.
While Binghamton is returning 69% of its goal-scoring production, it lost its best scorer from last season in Paige Volkmann, who led the team with 33 points and 24 goals and was the only player on the Bearcats to be named first team all-conference. Alyssa Sanchez, who finished second behind Volkmann in play share percentage, also graduated. The team is still returning the other three top-four scorers in Madison Murphy, Rebecca Korn and Emily Masera, but none of them finished with more than 25 points last year.
How Syracuse beats Binghamton
Defensively, the Bearcats were one of the least efficient teams in all of Division I last season. According to LacrosseReference, Binghamton finished with a defensive efficiency of 36.8%, the 11th-worst mark in the country. The Orange’s All-American attackers in Meaghan Tyrrell, Hawryschuk and Carney will most likely be able to take advantage of a weak Bearcats’ defense.
The Bearcats, though, do a good job of pouncing on loose balls. SU could lose valuable possessions or offensive chances, which could give Binghamton valuable attempts at goal. But as the second half against Stanford showed, the Orange have shown they’re capable of stopping opponents from cutting toward the net and generating turnovers. So even if Binghamton starts picking up more ground balls, Syracuse should have no trouble stopping the Bearcats and scoring on them, too.
Player to Watch: Madison Murphy, midfield, No. 34
Not having Volkmann hurts Binghamton, but Murphy remains one of the team’s best offensive weapons. With a minimum of 30 shots taken, Murphy led the Bearcats in usage adjusted expected-goals added with a mark of 1.90. She scored at least three goals in three of her eight games, including the game where she scored a season-best six goals against UMBC. Murphy was also one of the top passers on Binghamton last season, finishing with five assists.
Stat to know: 20.88 ground balls per game
Even though Binghamton may not convert as much as the rest of the conference, it is good at creating possessions by collecting loose balls. The Bearcats led America East in ground balls per game with 20.88. Nationally, Binghamton’s ground ball rate of 46.4% ranked as 19th-best. It was a stark contrast from previous seasons, as the Bearcats never ranked in the top 50 in this category in 2019 or 2020.
However, Binghamton’s three top ground-ball players — Volkmann, Sanchez and Taylor Passuello — all graduated. The players returning with the most ground balls are Murphy and Cassidy Evans, who both finished with 10.