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September 16, 2020
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Syracuse’s 8 goals in 1st 8 minutes fueled by last season’s perils in 18-6 win over Connecticut

first_img Comments Gary Gait joked about Syracuse’s first half against Connecticut last year. The Orange couldn’t win a draw — starting 0-for-8. They couldn’t find clearing areas and their defense was faulty against an inferior opponent.SU trailed by two goals at one point and entered the break up 9-8. Eventually, Syracuse broke open the score and won by 12 goals, but 2018’s first 30 minutes of play, a year in which the Orange had their first losing season in program history, stuck with Gait on Friday.“You know that first half really represented what our year was,” Gait said. “So we were like let’s demonstrate how we want to be now.”For Gait, SU’s first half against UConn in 2018 was a symbol of the past — inconsistent play, blown leads and little success. This opener would be a symbol of the future. Eight minutes into 2019’s matchup, No. 13 Syracuse (1-0) had the same amount of goals as game time over Connecticut (0-1). The Orange’s early explosion started with success in the draw and quantified with a fast-paced offense running through their midfield. It set the tone for the eventual 18-6 blowout over and showcased the potential of what SU’s balanced attack can become this season.“You can definitely tell the difference this year,” midfielder Sam Swart said. “It’s a different level of energy. Once we got in our groove, we just didn’t stop.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse wanted to take over quick, but the Huskies opening draw forced them to wait. As a turnover ensued on their opening possession, the Orange pushed downfield as Connecticut’s defenders jogged lightly near the opposing goal. Swart pushed the ball up against no navy blue jerseys until 15 yards from the net. SU’s speed gave it numbers and the start of its offensive dominance from senior Natalie Wallon. Emily Hawryschuk, who was SU’s leading scorer last season with 53 goals, won the ensuing draw and added her first goal of the season 18 seconds later to make it 2-0. “We haven’t played in forever,” Hawryschuk said. “The jitters went away.”When the Huskies touched the ball, they were mobbed at midfield. On one possession, a Connecticut attack had four bodies around her at midfield and was forced to throw it away — in the direction of an Orange stick.Syracuse controlled three-straight draws by three different players: Ella Simkins, Julie Cross and Swart. Simkins threw the ball to Cara Quimby who didn’t hesitate to give a cutting Vanessa Costantino an opportunity close to the net, one she capitalized on.When Cross stepped in, Hawryschuk was throwing her stick to the ground 30 seconds after faking twice and causing UConn’s Grace Beshlian to guess her shot incorrectly. Freshman Sarah Cooper swiped UConn and pushed toward a running Hawryschuk who netted her third goal.On one possession in the midst of the run, Hawryschuk stood alone and didn’t move. The closest defender was further than 10 yards from her despite her hat track within the first five minutes. Julie Ozimek, who was supposed to be pressed on her, shuffled up and down, trying to maintain the multitude of weapons the Orange had. But she forgot the most effective one on Friday. The junior caught the pass as three defenders tried to converge on her and shuffled the ball to Swart who caught the ball in stride and scored on a fake to make it 6-0.“We’re really focused on playing unselfish this year,” Gait said. “It really makes easy scores.”The second part of the run formed through defense — two turnovers and a free position save from goalkeeper Asa Goldstock. Quimby got in on the action after Swart’s goal and Hawryschuk capped the eight-goal stretch when she sliced her fourth into the net.The full-speed Orange were cooled off by three turnovers in four possessions and Connecticut’s brief sign of life, a Sydney Watson free position fake that snuck past Goldstock. It would be their only goal until 19:38 left in the game.Swart trended to the right side of the net after a scoreless 10 minute stretch and pulled a shot deep into the net. After an SU draw, Meaghan Tyrrell did the same in one of its slowest possession of the game — 44 seconds were still left on the shot clock.“I thought that set the tempo for the game,” Gait said. “Really allowed us to play everybody.”Syracuse put the breaks on after it hit double-digits. Possessions got longer. Only two starters were present in the final five minutes of the half. Syracuse entered the break up 12-1, and just needed 30 minutes to tick down.The goals still came early in the second half, Syracuse up 15-1 at one point. Connecticut threw together a three-goal run of itself against SU’s backups early in the second half, but the outcome was clear after the first eight minutes.Friday was a tune-up for Syracuse, who have now defeated Connecticut 21-straight times. If their dominance, when at full speed this year compared to last, are any indication of an identity, Gait believes the Orange’s season will be a lot different. “That first eight minutes was some great Syracuse lacrosse,” Gait said. “… We started well so we think this team is going to be different.” Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on February 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm Contact KJ: kjedelma@syr.edu | @KJEdelmanlast_img read more