Trailing seven goals midway through the third period, Maryland had its best chance to flip momentum as Syracuse played with two-women down — but they couldn’t take advantage.
The Orange got a stop and followed up with a score, epitomizing a game where even in good positions, the Terps failed to capitalize. Maryland put up more shots than Syracuse and had 13 free position shots to Syracuse’s zero, but scored on just five of them.
The Terps couldn’t overcome their missed opportunities as No. 2 Maryland (1-1) lost 20-11 to No. 4 Syracuse (2-0) Friday. The Orange scored more goals than any Terps opponent since coach Cathy Reese’s squad fell 20-10 at Northwestern on March 29, 2021.
“We had more shots than Syracuse did, except they put theirs on goal and shot the snot out of the ball, and we didn’t,” Reese said. “Offensively, we had some good looks … we didn’t finish in our man-ups — we had maybe five man-ups and we scored on one, and actually gave up some goals when we were a man up, and there’s no excuse for that.”
The loss was just Maryland’s third in 26 meetings with Syracuse, and the first on the road as the Orange are responsible for two of the Terps’ five home losses in coach Cathy Reese’s 16-year tenure.
Syracuse graduate attacker Meaghan Tyrrell quickly showed why she’s the Tewaaraton favorite, taking less than nine minutes to earn a hat-trick to get the Orange out to a 6-2 lead.
Tyrrell earned 11 points (six goals and five assists) and led Syracuse past Maryland along with Megan Carney’s four goals.
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After an ugly start in which Syracuse won eight of the first nine draw controls, Maryland was able to capture momentum at the end of the first period. The Terps scored three goals in 52 seconds through quick strikes from Shaylan Ahearn, Jordyn Lipkin and Libby May to enter the second quarter with a one-goal deficit.
But the Orange continued to attack, going on their own 3-0 run and outscoring Maryland 5-1 in the second period.
Syracuse never looked back, stringing together a 5-1 run in the third that gave the Orange an eight-goal advantage with 15 minutes left to play. The Terps couldn’t keep up with their own attack, scoring just five goals in the entire second half — one of which was freshman Kori Edmondson’s first career strike — for their lowest offensive output in 14 games.
Maryland goalkeeper Emily Sterling — who tallied eight saves and allowed just three goals in the Terps’ season opener against Saint Joseph’s — notched a career-worst save percentage of 23.1 percent, stopping just six of Syracuse’s 26 shots on target.
But to Reese, that was more of a reflection on the defenders than it was on Sterling.
“We didn’t execute our game plan. We didn’t help each other out. We didn’t slide when we needed to. And we made it a really long day, and tough for Emily to make saves when we’re not altering their shots at all,” Reese said.
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Syracuse goalkeeper Delaney Sweitzer posted a career-best 13 saves — but much of Reese’s frustration was that the Terps offense made it easy for Sweitzer in situations that should’ve resulted in goals.
“Giving the goalie 13 saves, I think that’s on us,” Reese said. “We had a bunch of looks, I think we came around the crease well, we played against the zone, had some different things that were good but we shot it at the goalie.”
The Orange continued their recent success against the Terps after defeating Reese’s squad in their last meeting in 2020. The Terps play at Drexel on Tuesday before facing another highly-ranked team on the road, as they’ll travel to Gainesville to play No. 7 Florida on Feb. 25.
“Honestly, [I hope there’s] a new attitude,” Ahearn said. “Let’s rely on one another and let’s play our hardest. Remember [this game], let it hurt, let it soak in, but at the same time, use this as fuel.”