May 12, 2013

Murray (10 Points) and Syracuse Bury Big Green

from press release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Junior Alyssa Murray tied her career high with 10 points to lead No. 4 seed Syracuse to a 21-8 win against Dartmouth in the second round of the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament. The Orange has now won 12 consecutive games and advances to the Elite Eight for the seventh time in the last eight years where it will face Florida on Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome in a rematch of last year's national semifinal.

Murray recorded five goals and a career-best five assists to spark the Orange offense. It marks just the sixth time in tournament history that a player has scored 10 or more points in a game. Murray's 10 points tie her for third on the NCAA Tournament record list for points in a game and is the third-highest single-game total for a member of the Orange in tournament play. Current assistant coach Katie Rowan '09 set the tournament record with 13 points against Towson in 2008.

In addition, Murray recorded her 100th point of the season as she joins Rowan as the only players in school history to reach the milestone twice in their careers. With her performance, Murray moved into fourth place on Syracuse's all-time scoring list with 248 points.

"That's why she's a Tewaaraton Award finalist," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "In big games, in a playoff game, you need to step up and make a difference and she did that today."

Syracuse (17-3) tied its season high in goals, but it took the Orange offense some time to click. SU converted just two of its first seven shots as Dartmouth (11-8) jumped out to a 4-2 lead with 22:16 to play in the first half. Freshman Kayla Treanornetted her first goal of the day at the 18:14 mark and started a stretch where Syracuse scored on seven consecutive shots as it took a 9-4 lead. Treanor had two goals and two assists during the run, while Murray scored twice, the second coming off the first career assist for junior Kasey Mock to cap the offensive outburst with 9:17 on the clock.

Murray added two more goals and Treanor found the back of the net with 18 seconds left in the first half to give the Orange a 12-6 lead at halftime.

The second half featured more Orange offense. Sophomore Kailah Kempney recorded the first goal after intermission at the 26:40 mark, starting the Orange on an 8-0 scoring run that gave SU its largest lead of the game at 20-6 with 13:54 remaining. Sophomore Devon Collins netted two of her three goals during the run, while Murray had a goal and two assists.

Sarah Byrne ended Dartmouth's scoring drought of 19:54 at the 11:36 mark and added another goal, her fourth of the day, before Treanor registered the final goal of the day on an assist from Murray for the 21-8 final.

"Obviously, I'm very happy with the outcome of today's game," Gait said. "Our team was patient. It wasn't our best start. I think we rebounded and started finishing our opportunities. By the middle of the game, we were creating opportunities through our ride and through our defense and allowed us to get on a good run and dominate the middle of the game. From top to bottom, it was a good effort by everybody."
Murray and Treanor led a balanced attack for Syracuse as each finished with five goals. Collins had a hat trick, while Kempney and freshmen Erica Bodt and Brenna Rainone had two goals apiece. Treanor and freshman Kelly Cross each dished out two assists.

The Orange defense held its opponent to less than 10 goals for the 12th consecutive game and forced the Big Green into more turnovers (15) than shots (13). SU's ride on clears allowed Dartmouth to convert just 9-of-14 attempts.

Syracuse outshot Dartmouth, 37-13, and picked up 14 ground balls to 11 for the Big Green. Murray tied her career high with four draw controls, helping the Orange win 19-of-31. Junior Alyssa Costantino made three saves in the second half for SU, while Kisten Giovanniello had 10 saves for Dartmouth.

The Orange hosts Florida next weekend in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. It marks the second consecutive year the teams have met in the tournament. Last season, Syracuse overcame a seven-goal deficit to defeat the Gators, 14-13 in double overtime in the national semifinals.


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