May 16, 2014 by conteconfidential
Two down, three to go.
The Boston College women’s lacrosse team will make its first appearance in the NCAA Elite 8 on Saturday, May 17. But, to travel to Towson, Md. for the Final Four, the Eagles will have to top one of the best teams in the country in ACC rival Syracuse University.
BC will face the Orange at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. Conte Confidential gives you an in-depth preview so you’re ready for the opening draw.
The Eagles celebrate their win over Loyola. (photo credit: Boston College Athletics)
How They Got Here
Current Record: 19-2 (6-1 ACC)
Ranking: No. 2
As the second seed in the tournament, the Orange had a first-round bye. In the second round, on May 11, Syracuse sent Stony Brook packing with a 13-6 victory to advance to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the seventh time in the past eight years. The Seawolves had a banner year in 2014, tying their single-season record with 17 wins and capturing an American East championship, but they were no match for the Orange’s high-octane offense.
Alyssa Murray scored the first four goals of the game and finished with a match-high six points (4g-2a). Kailah Kempney (2g-1a), Devon Collins (2g-1a) and Kayla Treanor (1g-2a) also had multi-point efforts, and eight different players recorded a goal. The Orange outshot Stony Brook, 22-9, and won 14-of-19 draw controls.
Making Syracuse’s victory more impressive is that Stony Brook has one of the top goaltenders in the country in Frankie Caridi. The senior led the nation in goals-against average and save percentage for the second straight year, and her 2014 GAA 5.17 ranks fifth in NCAA single-season history.
With the win, the Orange tied its school record for wins in a single season. Both of Syracuse’s losses came against the same team: No. 1 Maryland. The Orange fell to the Terrapins, 13-7, in the ACC championship game on April 27. On March 10, Syracuse dropped a 12-10 decision.
The Orange has put up impressive numbers all season, scoring more than 15 goals in a game ten times. In its last game of the regular season on May 3, though, Syracuse had a scare, needing overtime to secure a 14-12 victory over Loyola, which had run off 12 consecutive wins going into the contest. At one point, the Orange led by five goals.
Current Record: 15-5 (3-4 ACC)
Ranking: No. 6
BC made program history by defeating Bryant, 17-9, to earn its first NCAA tournament win on May 9. The Eagles opened up a 10-5 lead by the end of the first half and never looked back. Covie Stanwick notched eight points (5g-3a), one shy of her career high, while Sarah Mannelly contributed six (4g-2a).
In the second round on May 11, BC faced Loyola. Behind disciplined play, the Eagles dispatched the Greyhounds, 8-3. The BC defense managed to hold high-scoring duo Marlee Paton and Annie Thomas, who had combined for 154 points and 89 goals going into the game, off of the score sheet. In the second half, the Eagles limited the Greyhounds to one goal, seven shots and one draw control. Stanwick (3g-1a) and Mannelly (3g) again led the way offensively. Freshman goaltender Zoe Ochoa made her third-career start and recorded four saves, including one on a free-position try.
Opponents to Watch
Syracuse is an offensively-gifted team. The Orange has 10 players who have reached the double digits in points, including four who have breached the 30-point mark. While the team is known more for its offense than its defense, Syracuse does have talent on the back end and has held its opponents to less than 10 goals in 12 games. Please note that if the stat is italicized, the player is the team leader in this category.
Alyssa Murray (#1)
Stat Line: 55 goals, 39 assists, 94 points
Murray has had a decorated career during her time in Syracuse. She was named the 2013 Big East Attack Player of the Year, captured IWLCA All-Northeast Region First Team honors three consecutive seasons and made the 2012 IWLCA All-America First Team after scoring 105 points (76g-29a). She is the active leader in Division I history in career points with 346.
Murray is especially lethal come NCAA tournament time, notching 33 points, which is the second-highest total in school history, and scoring 23 goals, which is good for a tie for first.
Alyssa Murray is the second player in Syracuse history to record 300 points, 200 goals and 100 assists in her career (photo credit: syracuse.com)
Kayla Treanor (#21)
Stat Line: 71 goals, 34 assists, 105 points
Treanor matched Murray’s sophomore point record during Syracuse’s victory over Stony Brook and currently leads the nation in points and is second in goals. The 2014 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and an All-ACC First Team honoree, Treanor has already reached the 200-point plateau in her career.
Kailah Kempney (#3)
Stat Line: 21 goals, 12 assists, 33 points, 100 draw controls
Kempney is fourth on the team in points and sixth in goals. But, since lacrosse is very much a game of possession, her 100 draw controls stands out. The next closest player in this statistic is sophomore defender Maddy Huegel with 43. No other player has totaled more than 32.
Kasey Mock (#14)
Stat Line: 36 ground balls, 28 caused turnovers
Mock was Syracuse’s lone defensive player to earn All-ACC and IWLCA All-Northeast Region honors, being named to the All-Northeast Region First Team and the All-ACC Second Team. She leads the team in caused turnovers and is second in ground balls. Mock made her first career start as a junior and has been a key piece of the defense ever since.
The Eagles have proven this year that they can play with anyone, especially when they can dictate the pace of play and set up their offensive schemes. More of an offensive team, BC will need its defensive unit to step up against Syracuse and build on its strong performance against Loyola. Ochoa, who recently took over for junior Emily Mata and has only appeared in seven games, will be tested by the Orange and will need to be an anchor in net.
BC has three 50-goal scorers in Rix, Stanwick and Mannelly. Stanwick and Mannelly combined for 20 points (15g-5a) in BC’s first two tournament games. While Rix has been a little quiet in the tournament by her standards, she led the Eagles in goals (three) during their last contest against Syracuse.
Covie Stanwick has been an offensive force in the NCAA tournament so far. The junior has 12 points (8g-4a) in two games. (photo credit: Boston College Athletics)
BC played Syracuse in its second ACC game of the season on Feb. 26. The Eagles held a 4-3 lead at halftime thanks to three goals, including two to close the half, by Rix. The Orange rallied in the second half, scoring four unanswered goals to take an 8-5 edge. Syracuse would never trail again and went on to win, 11-9. Murray and Katie Webster each recorded three goals to pace the Orange.
Syracuse is a perfect 11-0 all-time against BC. The Orange’s average margin of victory since 1999 (nine meetings) is 6.67 goals. In 2012, BC and Syracuse faced off for the first time since 2005, with the Orange emerging a 23-12 victor. The closest the Eagles have come to earning a win was a 10-9 defeat in 2002.
By Jen Dobias