May 17, 2014

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Syracuse Headed to Semis After Rallying Past Boston College

by Tyler Piccotti | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | May Madness Home

In-Game Blog Replay

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Through the first 17 minutes of Saturday's NCAA quarterfinal matchup between two-seed Syracuse and seven-seed Boston College, the usually-potent Orange attack had mustered only one shot. The duo of Kayla Treanor and Alyssa Murray, which had combined for 126 goals during the regular season, faced double-team after double-team and found no room to maneuver.

Meanwhile, the Eagles looked to be on cruise control following a three-goal barrage to begin the game, including a pair from team point leader Covie Stanwick.

But then, some unlikely heroes completely swung momentum in SU's favor.

Highlighted by Katie Webster's hat trick, the Orange (20-2) proceeded to score eight of the next nine goals to ultimately take BC (15-6) out of contention in an 11-9 victory in front of 652 fans at the Carrier Dome. With the win, Gary Gait's squad will face Virginia on Friday in the national semifinals, a milestone Syracuse has now reached the past three seasons.

However, Webster wasn't the only secondary scoring option to carry the Orange during that spurt. Bridget Daley, Erica Bodt and Taylor Poplawski all found the back of the cage to build an insurmountable four-goal lead.

"If you can take out (Treanor and Murray), you have a good chance of winning," Eagles midfielder Kate McCarthy said. "I mean... we came out flying. The first 17 minutes I think, they didn't have a goal.

"Unfortunately, (Katie) Webster and other girls stepped up pretty nicely."

Webster began the run with a free position tally, and then Daley followed with one of her own. The latter would also bury the only clean pass Murray could deliver all game to give SU a 5-4 advantage that it would not relinquish.

Daley has provided an added spark to the Orange's midfield unit since returning from a broken foot at the end of the regular season. On Saturday, her speed and tenacity rubbed off on the rest of the SU midfield, which filled the void left by a smothered attack unit.

"One of the reasons the middies got some goals today was because the attackers kept their composure," Webster said. "The doubles were coming hard, and they were able to keep their head up and look for us."

Murray joked that she felt like she had been facing seven defenders at once during the game. The Eagles suffocated her and Treanor with plenty of early slides on defense. They did the same thing back in February, but the pair still burned them for five goals.

This time, they only managed three.

"We figured they were going to do something similar to that, but they obviously did that even more so this game," Murray said. "Every time I got the ball and they slid, I kept looking back to the top to Katie, Amy (Cross), Bridget (Daley) and whoever was there."

Treanor was still flummoxed late in the game, missing a wide-open net with the goalkeeper pulled. Luckily, Natalie Glanell redeemed the blunder with her only goal of the season moments later to seal the win.

It was the appropriate ending to a game where Syracuse proved it has the depth to finally capture the championship that has eluded its grasp.


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