JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the first Division I women’s lacrosse game in the nation, Syracuse defeated Jacksonville, 21-8, on Sunday, Jan. 13. The Orange, which opened the season on the road for the first time since 2007, has now won its season opener in six consecutive seasons.
“It was a great team effort from top to bottom,” said SU head coach Gary Gait. “Offensively, we had a number of players score. We executed well and we’ll build on this performance. I was happy with our defense. We saw a couple of our young defenders do well and we’ll continue to solidify our defense.”
Freshman Kayla Treanor led a balanced offense for Syracuse, scoring a game-high five goals and finishing with six points. She equaled the school mark set by sophomore Kailah Kempney last season for the most goals by a freshman in her collegiate debut.
Junior Alyssa Murray, who led the nation in scoring last season, picked up where she left off, recording five points on three goals and two assists. Senior Becca Block junior Katie Webster, sophomore Devon Collins and Kempney scored two goals apiece.
Jacksonville took an early lead, but the Orange, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation in Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook preseason poll, netted eight unanswered goals to take a seven-goal lead at the 17:56 mark. Treanor had two goals and an assist during the run. The Dolphins fought back and cut the lead to five at 10-5 before Treanor found the back of the net with four seconds on the clock to give SU an 11-5 halftime lead.
The Orange broke open the game in the second half. Leading 13-8, Becca Block converted a free position and junior Amy Cross scored on an assist from Murray to put Syracuse up 17-8. SU then scored three times in 17 seconds to take a 10-goal lead. Treanor found the back of the net for her fifth goal at the 18:23 mark. Junior Kirkland Locey won the ensuring draw control and passed the ball to Murray, who netted her third goal of the game. Twelve seconds later, Kempney tallied her second goal of the contest, extending the margin to 18-8. Freshman Kelly Cross scored her first career goal with 1:10 remaining to give Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 21-8, which was the final.
Junior Alyssa Costantino made four saves for the Orange in the first half, while sophomore Kelsey Richardson tallied four saves in the second half. Karli Tobin posted 10 saves for Jacksonville.
Syracuse outshot Jacksonville, 37-20, while the Dolphins picked up 24 ground balls to 20 for the Orange. SU dominated in the draw circle, winning 21-of-30 draw controls. Kempney led the way for Syracuse with eight.
Several players recorded their first career points in the victory. Freshmen Erica Bodt and Brenna Rainone each recorded a goal, and sophomore Ella Thorpe had an assist.
The Orange will return to Florida to take on the U.S. national team at the Champion Challenge on Jan. 26 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Syracuse will host Maryland in its home opener on Sunday, Feb. 17 in the Carrier Dome.