EVANSTON, Ill. — After trailing by as many as seven in the second half, No. 5 Syracuse cut the deficit to two but could no closer in an 18-14 loss to No. 4 Northwestern in the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament quarterfinals. The Orange end the season with a 16-5 record.
“It was a heck of a game,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. “I’m proud of the effort and the fact that the team never gave up, fought until the very end. We played a great team. It was a solid team effort from both teams, they just had a little bit more today.”
Trailing by six at halftime, senior Natalie Wallon got Syracuse off to a good start after intermission when she scored 48 seconds into the second half on a pass from redshirt junior Mary Rahal. Northwestern answered on a Selena Lasota goal, but junior Emily Hawryschuk found the back of the net at the 27:15 mark to cut the deficit to five at 11-6. The goal marked her 200th career point. Following Hawryschuk’s goal, the game was stopped due to inclement weather in the area.
After a nearly two-hour delay, Hawryschuk struck again to cut the deficit to four, but back-to-back goals by Northwestern (16-4) pushed its lead to 14-7 with 23:51 left.
Freshman Meaghan Tyrrell scored her first goal of the day at the 21:19 mark, sparking the Orange on a 6-1 scoring run that brought the Orange within two at 15-13. Tyrrell scored all three of her goals during the run.
Northwestern responded with back-to-back goals to push the advantage back to four at 17-13 before Hawryschuk scored her fifth goal of the day to cut the deficit to three with 3:35 remaining. The Wildcats turned the ball over on a shot clock violation, giving Syracuse possession with 1:42 left, but Syracuse turned it over and Northwestern found the back of the net with 33 seconds left for the final.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead, scoring the first three goals of the game. Freshman Megan Carney put Syracuse on the scoreboard when she came from behind the goal and put her shot in the back of the net at the 22:24 mark. She scored again less than two minutes later on a free-position attempt to bring the Orange within one.
The teams traded goals before the Wildcats went on a 6-0 scoring run to open up a 10-3 lead with 7:11 on the clock. Carney ended Syracuse’s scoring drought of more than 18 minutes when she converted on a free-position attempt with 59 seconds left to cut the deficit to 10-4 at halftime.
Hawryschuk finished with five goals, giving her 10 goals in the NCAA Tournament. She now has 203 career points, making her the 11th player in program history to record 200 or more career points. She finishes the season with 75 goals, which tie her with Christina Dove (2008) for the second-highest single-season total in school history.
Carney finished with four goals, which also tied her career high. Junior goalkeeper Asa Goldstock made six saves, giving her 473 for career.
The Orange made its 10th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Syracuse is now 7-3 in the Elite Eight and 18-17 in tournament play.