Chester, Pa. – A quick take on Syracuse’s close-but-no-cigar, 10-8 defeat to top-seed Maryland Friday night in the NCAA semifinals, in front of a crowd of 5,994 at PPL Park outside of Philadelphia.
WHAT HAPPENED: After the Terps jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead only :35 into the game, SU hung tough in the first half actually taking a brief one goal lead before UM tallied three goals in the final four minutes to lead 7-5 at halftime. Dominating the draw controls (faceoffs) 14-6, Maryland kept up the offensive pressure in the second half to win going away, aided by the fact there’s no shot clock. Once UM took a multi-goal lead and had possession, the Terps essentially ran out the final six minutes of play.
WHAT IT MEANS: Wait until next year. For the third straight season, the Orange season ends at the hands of the Terrapins in the NCAA Tournament, a disappointing pill to swallow for a SU program still seeking its first national title, and not able to get over the hump of beating the talented Terrapins.
STAR GAZING: The sport’s top player, Maryland’s Taylor Cummings, dominated the draw controls and paced UM with two goals and four assists, while Kristen Lamon had three goals. For the ‘Cuse, star Kayla Treanor had three goals and two assists. Taylor Gait and Maryland transfer Halle Majorana scored twice for the Orange.
WHAT’S NEXT: The 2016 season in which the Orange will again be expected to challenge for both the ACC and NCAA titles. SU will look to make the Final Four for a fifth consecutive season in what will be Gary Gait’s ninth year leading the program.