Tyrrell Sisters Steal the Show as Syracuse Routs Northwestern


Emma Tyrrell had three goals and two assists Friday in Syracuse's 21-13 win over Northwestern in the NCAA semifinals at Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

TOWSON, Md. —  No Megan Carney, no Emily Hawryschuk, no problem.

Syracuse lost plenty of talent this season to injuries, but that didn’t seem to matter Friday. In their NCAA women’s lacrosse semifinal with Northwestern, the Orange handed the Wildcats their first loss with a surprising 21-13 victory, scoring the most goals they had in any game all season.

“That first half defense was amazing, best half I think we played all year,” Syracuse coach Gary Gait said after the game at Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. “It gave us the opportunity to get a run going and go up on these guys. … We were thrilled with the defense leading the way.”

That the Orange (17-3) pulled out the win isn’t as surprising as how they did it. Northwestern was flustered early, committing 26 first-half fouls (49 overall) and surrendering several goals on its aggressive full-field ride. The Wildcats (15-1) also finished with seven yellow cards.

“I just knew we had it,” Syracuse attacker Emma Tyrrell said. “Whenever a team puts the first goal in, I think it gave us all some fire. I feel like after that happened, we wanted to score three or four more up on them and that’s exactly what happened.”

The Orange, though, weren’t fazed. Behind eight combined goals from Meaghan and Emma Tyrrell — or as Gait called them, the “House of Tyrrell” — the Syracuse offense excelled.

Northwestern made a bid late in the second half, at one point turning it into a three-goal contest, but it was too late.

“You can’t go into a game like that against a great team like that and have penalties the whole time,” Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “It’s impossible to overcome. … You get to this point and need people to step up, and they didn’t today. It stinks to be in this situation, but that’s sports.”

After Carney exited the lineup for the season, the Orange went on to defeat Virginia Tech, Boston College, Loyola and Florida, losing just once, to then-undefeated North Carolina.

“It’s about the team, and that’s the key,” Gait said. “The seniors who came back, the 11 players, were on a mission to get to this game. They accomplished this, and the younger players stepped up. … They know they have everybody behind them and the entire team is one unit.”

Their next undefeated foe was the Wildcats, who didn’t appear ready for the moment at times against the relentless Syracuse defense.

“They have a good defense. They have high pressure and swarm,” Northwestern’s Izzy Scane said. “More of the problem was our offense playing a little scared knowing they would do that. If we played completely our game, it would have been a little different.”

Lindsey McKone opened the scoring for the Wildcats. It would be a while before they found the back of the net again.

In fact, they went nearly 10 minutes without another shot on goal while the Orange went on a 5-0 run.

Northwestern took two penalties with just over 25 minutes to go in the first half, leading to Syracuse’s first tally. The Wildcats, already a player down, allowed consecutive free-position shots, and Meaghan Tyrrell struck. Moments later, she gave the Orange their first lead.

Before eight minutes had passed, the Wildcats had already collected nine fouls, and goalie Madison Doucette had four saves.

When given a player advantage chance of its own, Northwestern stayed undisciplined, though, and turned it over.

Tyrrell netted her third point with 18:53 left in the first half, an assist on Sam Swart’s tally to make it 3-1. The Wildcats ride began to burn them, as the Orange went ahead 5-1 on a long-distance goal while Doucette was engaged in the full-field pressure, leaving the net wide open.

Syracuse goalie Asa Goldstock held the Wildcats off the board for 18:11 before McKone notched her second of the day, but the Orange were still rolling.

By halftime, it was a romp. Syracuse led 10-4, going another seven minutes holding down the Wildcats offense. Scane scored her 95th goal of the season by the half, but there was still a long way to go to get back in the game.

Meaghan Tyrrell stopped the Wildcats’ three-goal run three minutes into the second half with a free-position tally, the third of the game for the Orange. They took their biggest lead of the day, 14-6, shortly after Emma Tyrrell netted her third tally of the day.

Each time the Wildcats seemed to claw back into it, scoring a goal or two, the Orange would strike right back. Emma Ward made it 15-8 with 18:54 to go in the game after Northwestern had just snapped another Syracuse run.

Then it was the Scane show, at least for a while.

Northwestern made it a four-goal contest with 8:30 left, then Scane dove past Goldstock with 7:27 to go, netting her 98th goal of the year (two shy of the NCAA single-season record held by Stony Brook’s Courtney Murphy) and making it a three-goal game.

Goldstock stopped an attempt in front with 6:45 left, a momentum stopper, then the Orange carried it down field for another Meaghan Tyrrell goal to stop the bleeding — and put the Wildcats’ comeback bid to rest.

“It was huge,” Gait said of the save. “I should have called a timeout. We turned the ball over, they were man up and came down, we switched gears again. We knew we had to put the ball in the back of the net and attack. Asa made a great save, we score, we kept attacking and that was key.”

Northwestern wouldn’t get any closer, and Syracuse closed it out with a late goal to hit make it a season-high 21.

“We got a little frazzled out there,” Emma Tyrrell said. “Just needed a few more goals ahead of them and kept the run going.”

Meaghan Tyrrell finished with a game-high eight points on five goals and three assists. Emma Tyrrell (three goals, two assists), Emma Ward (three goals, three assists) and Emily Ehle (two goals, three assists) also were sensational.

Scane led Northwestern with four goals and three assists in the losing cause.

Syracuse will face Boston College for the fourth time this year in the NCAA championship game Sunday at 12 p.m. (ESPN2). No matter who comes out on top, a first-time champion will be crowned. The Orange were NCAA runners-up in 2012 and 2014, the Eagles in 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

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