TOWSON, Md. — Syracuse University will play for an NCAA championship for the first time since 2014 after keeping the highest-scoring offense in the land in check for a 21-13 victory over Northwestern in a women’s lacrosse semifinal Friday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Syracuse will face Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Boston College in the title game at noon Sunday in Towson, to be televised on ESPNU. Boston College, which will play in its fourth straight NCAA final, upended No. 1 North Carolina, 11-10, in the other semifinal Friday.
Neither Syracuse nor Boston College has won an NCAA championship as SU is 0-2 in title games and BC is 0-3. The two teams have met three times this season, with the Orange winning twice.
Meaghan Tyrrell scored five goals for the No. 3-seeded Orange (17-3), which handed the No. 2 Wildcats their first loss of the season with a season-high 21 goals. SU’s Sam Swart, Emma Tyrrell and Jenny Markey scored three goals apiece. Meaghan Tyrrell added three assists.
“It was an outstanding performance by the entire team,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “I thought it really started on the defensive end with (goalie) Asa Goldstock leading the way. The first half our defense was amazing — the best half we’ve played all year — and gave us the opportunity to get a run going and get up on (Northwestern). That really built our confidence. Our offense did what we had to do and I think, overall, it was a great team effort top to bottom. Now we have one more to go.”
Goldstock made 10 saves to limit a Northwestern team that was averaging 20.6 goals per game to its lowest scoring total of the season. She is one save away from becoming the all-time SU leader in that category.
Northwestern (15-1) scored the first goal of the game 53 seconds in, but Syracuse responded with a run of five straight goals, which included back-to-back scores from Meaghan Tyrrell.
After Northwestern’s Lindsey Wallace scored at the 10:28 mark, SU followed with five more goals and led 10-4 at halftime.
Northwestern went on a 4-0 scoring run to cut SU’s lead to 15-12 with 7:27 remaining, but Meaghan Tyrrell, Emily Ehle and Swart each scored for the Orange to seal the victory.
Izzy Scane led Northwestern with four goals and three assists, finishing her season averaging 6.13 goals per game, which is an NCAA record. Lindsey McKone and Jane Hansen added two goals each.
Watertown High School graduate Jill Girardi, a senior midfielder for the Wildcats, recorded one groundball and two caused turnovers.