April 28, 2013

Syracuse Wins Big East Regular Season Title Again

from press release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – No. 5/5 Syracuse defeated No. 8/7 Georgetown, 13-7, on Sunday, April 28 to claim the BIG EAST regular-season title for the second consecutive season. The Orange went undefeated in conference play for the second straight year and third time in the program's history.

Syracuse (14-3, 8-0) has now won nine straight games and its last 20 BIG EAST regular-season games, dating back to the 2011 season. The Orange wins its sixth conference crown in the last seven years and earns the No. 1 seed in next week's BIG EAST Tournament, which begins Thursday, May 2 at Georgetown.

"We take it one game at a time and truly focus on getting a win every game," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "We do our work and put our time in. It wasn't our best game, but we grinded it out and got the win."

Freshman Kayla Treanor scored a season-high six goals and finished with a personal-best seven points. Junior Alyssa Murray added three goals and two assists. Sophomore Kelsey Richardson led a strong defensive effort by the Orange. She made a season-high nine saves as SU forced the Hoyas to commit nearly as many turnovers (19) as shots (20).

"When you play a tough zone defense, you have to move the ball against it," Gait said. "They kept moving it and moving it and made a mistake or two and we got the ball back. Coach (Regy) Thorpe and his defense are playing well right now."

Georgetown (12-4, 6-2) took an early lead on goals by Sophia Thomas and Hannah Franklin. Franklin's tally at the 24:26 mark would be the Hoyas last of the half as Syracuse scored seven unanswered goals in the final 23:14. Senior Bridget Daley started the offensive outburst with a goal on a hard shot at the 23:14 mark. Treanor followed with three consecutive goals, the first on an assist from Murray and two on crease rolls on the right side.

Murray continued the run with a free position goal before junior Katie Webster (Syracuse, N.Y.) found the back of the net at the 3:53 mark. Murray gave the Orange a 7-2 lead when she put her bounce shot past Hoyas' goalkeeper Barb Black on an assist from Treanor with 3:14 on the clock. Georgetown had the final possession of the half, but Syracuse's defense didn't allow the Hoyas to get off a shot.

Webster netted the first goal of the second half on an assist from Murray to give the Orange a six-goal lead. Kristen Bandos ended Georgetown's scoring drought of nearly 27 minutes when she found the back of the net at the 27:24 mark to bring the Hoyas within five at 8-3. Bandos' goal sparked Georgetown on a 4-1 scoring run that cut Syracuse's lead to 9-6 with 23:25 remaining.

After the two teams traded goals, Treanor extended Syracuse's lead when she took a pass from freshman Kelly Cross in front of the goal and shoveled the ball low into the back of the net for her sixth goal of the game. Freshman Erica Bodt and Murray each scored in the final 1:15 to secure the victory.

Syracuse outshot Georgetown, 32-20, while the Hoyas won 14-of-22 draw controls. The Orange picked up 20 ground balls, led by Murray's and sophomore Kailah Kempney's four apiece, to 14 for the Hoyas.

The Orange begins its quest for a third BIG EAST Tournament title on Thursday, May 2. The tournament pairings will be announced later tonight.


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