It’s a big deal—no Orange women’s team in any sport has won a national championship.
“Being back is a great feeling,” Alyssa Murray said following the match. The Orange last appeared in the title game two years ago, where the Orange fell to Northwestern 8-6. “It’s been our goal all season.”
They stand a pretty good chance, even if their opponent is the red-hot Maryland Terrapins, who’ve defeated the Orange in both of their match-ups this season.
Syracuse is good, and the match showed why. The Orange’s offensive attack proved way too much for the Virginia Cavaliers. Following an 18-14 win over UVA in the regular season, Syracuse reminded the Cavaliers why they lost then, and why UVA has lost the last four matches.
The no. 2 Orange women controlled the entire game, too fast and too physical for the no. 11-ranked Cavaliers. Star attacks senior Alyssa Murray and sophomore Kayla Treanor as usual led the Orange attack, but Amy Cross and Kailah Kempney both had two goals, while Katie Webster scored one in the first half.
Both Murray and Treanor are finalists for the Tewaaraton Award. No surprise: during the match, Treanor set a school record for goals scored in a single season and moved to second place all-time for points in a single season. Murray’s six goals are the most by a Syracuse player in NCAA tournament history.
And by the way, Syracuse caused the clock to run. In an NCAA Final Four match. With under three minutes left, Murray’s assist to Devon Collins sent the score to 16-6. It didn’t last long, as UVA scored to close the gap 16-7 with 1:45 left, and then 16-8 with 1:21 left, but that’s besides the point.
“Syracuse had their best game of the season,” said UVA head coach Julie Meyers. “Their big players stepped up. That’s what you expect in the Final Four.”
The ladies have a legitimate shot at being the nation’s champions this year. They will play for the title Sunday at 8:30 pm at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md., against Maryland, who has defeated the Orange twice so far this season–most recently in the ACC title game.
Posted by: Jillian Thaw