April 18, 2009

Syracuse Beats Rutgers for Share of Big East Title

from press release

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Junior Christina Dove scored five goals and senior Katie Rowan dished out six assists as eighth-ranked Syracuse defeated Rutgers, 15-6, in Piscataway, N.J. on Saturday, April 18. With the win, the Orange claims a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title.

Syracuse improves to 12-3 overall and 6-1 in BIG EAST play. The six league victories are a program single-season best. The Orange and Georgetown finish the regular season tied for the top spot. Syracuse shared the 2007 regular-season title before winning its first outright championship last season.

"We're excited," said fifth-year senior and team co-captain Bridget Looney. "It was a hard-fought BIG EAST season. We know we can improve on how we've played so far."

With her performance, Rowan moved into third place on the NCAA Division I career assists list, moving past Johns Hopkins' Mary Key (2004-07) with 151 assists in 71 games. Her seven points against the Scarlet Knights give her 368 in her career, which rank seventh on the all-time scoring list.

After Rutgers took an early lead, Dove scored her first goal of the day on an assist from Rowan, which sparked the Orange on a 5-0 scoring run. Senior Awehiyo Thomas scored twice during the run, including one on a behind-the-back shot in traffic in front of the cage. Senior Megan Mosenson and sophomore Tee Ladouceur also found the back of the net during the run as Syracuse took a 5-1 lead with 13:14 remaining. The Scarlet Knights responded with three straight goals to cut the lead to one, before Dove scored twice in the final three minutes to give the Orange a 7-4 halftime advantage.

Rutgers struck first in the second half, scoring just 48 seconds in to cut the lead to 7-5. That was close as the Scarlet Knights would get as Syracuse controlled the rest of the game, outscoring Rutgers, 8-1 in the final 25:13 of the contest. Dove and Rowan converted free position attempts before Thomas netted her third goal of the game. Mosenson found the back of the net for the second time, and Dove registered another free position goal to give the Orange a 12-5 lead with 9:42 remaining. Following a Rutgers goal, Ladouceur scored twice, both on assists from Rowan, and then found junior Jackie DePetris, who scored her first goal of the day to give Syracuse the 15-6 victory.

Dove was one of four Syracuse players to score multiple goals. Ladouceur and Thomas each recorded hat tricks, while Mosenson added a pair of goals. Ladouceur also added two assists. Brooke Cantwell led Rutgers with two goals and an assist.

The Orange outshot Rutgers, 35-22, and picked up 16 ground balls to 15 for the Scarlet Knights. The Orange held a slight advantage in draw controls, winning 11-of-21. Syracuse goalkeeper Liz Hogan (Victor, N.Y.) stopped 11 shots, marking the second straight game and fifth time this season she has reached double figures in saves. Hogan and the Orange defense held the Scarlet Knights to just two goals in the second half. It marks the seventh time this season Syracuse has limited an opponent to two goals or less in a half.

Syracuse will play in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on Friday in Washington D.C.

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