No. 5 Syracuse Hands UConn First Loss
from press release
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – No. 5/6 Syracuse (4-2, 1-0) shut out rv/rv Connecticut (6-1, 0-1) for more than 34 minutes on its way to an 18-7 victory in the Carrier Dome on Friday, Mar. 22. With the win, the Orange extends its winning streak in BIG EAST openers to six.
"We knew what we were up against," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "We started off a little rusty after having a week off. I thought (assistant coach) Regy Thorpe put a great defensive game plan together. It was two teams playing the same defense and I think our group did a little better job. We really made it tough for them to score. "
Junior Alyssa Murray led a balanced offensive attack for Syracuse as 10 different players found the back of the net. Murray tallied eight points (5g, 3a), while senior Michelle Tumolo Hill had six points (2g, 4a).
The Orange never trailed in the contest as senior Bridget Daley scored the first of her two goals on a free position attempt just 24 seconds into the game. Tumolo, freshman Kayla Treanor and Murray followed with goals to put Syracuse up 4-0 with 10:30 to play in the first half. The Orange scored three times in the final 2:23 of the half to take a 7-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. Murray scored an unassisted goal before assisting on tallies by sophomore Kailah Kempney and Tumolo, who put her shot past Huskies' goalkeeper Shannon Nee just before the halftime buzzer.
Sophomore Devon Collins netted back-to-back goals to start the second half to push Syracuse's lead to 9-0 before Morgan O'Reilly put Connecticut on the scoreboard with a goal at the 25:28 mark. That goal was the first Syracuse had allowed in 67:31 of play, dating back to the Towson game last weekend. The Orange held the Tigers without a goal in the final 2:39 of the first half and then shut them out in the second half.
Syracuse's offense dominated the remainder of the game as it led by as many as 15 goals. Murray had three goals and an assist in the second half, while Tumolo had three assists. In addition, seniors Taylor Nims and Tori Praino each recorded their first goals of the season.
The Orange outshot the Huskies, 42-18, and picked up 25 ground balls to 16 for UConn. SU also won 13-of-25 draw controls. Syracuse's defense and aggressive ride caused 21 Connecticut turnovers and held it to just 12 clears on 22 attempts. Senior Becca Block played a major role in the defense's success, causing five turnovers and picking up four ground balls. She also had four draw controls.
Sophomore Kelsey Richardson made her second consecutive start in goal for the Orange and finished with six saves, while junior Alyssa Costantino had one save in 15:49 of action. Nee finished with nine saves, all of which came in the first half.
Syracuse is back on the road for its next four contests, beginning Wednesday, Mar. 27 at Boston College at 4 p.m.