March 29, 2014

Murray Tops 300 Points as Syracuse Outscores Duke

by Stephen Bailey | Lax Magazine.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Alyssa Murray strode into her postgame press conference wearing a ‘Beat Duke’ T-shirt.

It was the same one she debuted in practice on Tuesday, and one that teammates made her promise to wear again on Saturday when the Orange hosted the Blue Devils in their first-ever matchup.

Fittingly, it was Murray who led No. 3 Syracuse (10-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) past No. 12 Duke (7-4, 2-2) 19-15 in front of 997 fans in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. She finished with three goals and four assists, eclipsing the 300-point mark for her career in the process. Kayla Treanor, who entered the game as the ACC’s leader in points, added four goals and an assist for the Orange.

Kerrin Maurer tallied four goals and two assists for the Blue Devils, who had a four-game winning streak snapped, but most of her production came after the Orange used an 8-1 second-half run to effectively pull away.

The Blue Devils didn’t score their second goal after halftime until the 14:52 mark, and their third until more than six minutes later.

“I think that’s just the way our team is,” Murray said. “[Other] teams make runs, but we just try to have bigger runs and make more frequent runs throughout the game.”

Duke jumped on the Orange early with goals from Taylor Trimble and Sydney Peterson in the opening 3:24, but a three-goal spurt keyed by Treanor and Taylor Poplawki swung the tides.

The final tally in that run — a Poplawski goal off a flashy Treanor feed—gave the Orange the lead at 4-3 with 15:38 left in the first half.

“They were face-guarding me so I just got the ball and tried to take my defender 1-on-1 and they helped on the slide,” Treanor said. “Taylor was wide open.”

The Orange registered another 3-0 run late in the first half before Webster and Treanor each beat Duke goalie Kelsey Duryea in the final 48 seconds before halftime.

Syracuse took a 10-7 lead into the break and a 13-5 advantage in draws, thanks to Kailah Kempney.

And after Maddy Morrissey scored on a free-position attempt to pull Duke within two 57 seconds into the second half, the Orange offense erupted.

“Their defense tried some shut-offs and I thought we stayed poise and took advantage of those opportunities they gave us,” SU head coach Gary Gait said.

Seven different Orange players scored as Kempney draw wins turned to goals from every angle. The Blue Devils went 14:11 without finding the back of the net. And, ultimately, Gait called the SU starters off for the second- and third-team units to get some play.

The Blue Devils closed the game on a 6-1 run, but it was too little, too late, as the Orange sent Duke packing in its first trip to the Carrier Dome.

Said Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel: “Fundamentally, we didn’t play our brand of defense. Syracuse didn’t really do anything weren’t expecting. I just don’t think we played the way we’re capable of playing.”


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