March 26, 2011

Syracuse Gets on Track with Big East Win over Rutgers, Gait's 50th

from press release

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – For the fourth consecutive year, the 11th-ranked Syracuse women's lacrosse squad won its BIG EAST opener with an 11-7 victory at RV/18 Rutgers on March 26 in Piscataway, N.J. Orange sophomore Michelle Tumolo tied her career high with four assists and recorded a game-high five points.

The victory was the 50th win for Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. Since taking over the helm of the program in August, 2007, Gait has guided the Orange to a record of 50-20 (.714), two appearances in the Final Four, two BIG EAST regular-season titles and one conference tournament championship.

Freshman Katie Webster gave Syracuse (3-5, 1-0) the early lead, scoring an unassisted goal at the 28:53 mark. Two consecutive goals by Ali Steinber gave the Scarlet Knights (6-3, 1-1) a 2-1 its only lead of the game with 24:14 mark before freshman Amy Cross found the back of the net off an assist from senior Tee Lacouceur to even the score. Cross' goal sparked the Orange on a 7-2 scoring run that gave Syracuse an 8-4 lead at halftime. Tumolo assisted on senior Catherine Rodriguez's goal and then found the back of the net at the 19:31 mark to put SU up 4-2.

Following a Rutgers goal by Lindsey Watts, Ladouceur and freshman Alyssa Murray recorded goals before junior Sarah Holden capped the scoring run with two consecutive goals. The Scarlet Knights had a chance to cut into the lead on a free position with 15 seconds remaining in the first half, but senior Liz Hogan made a save on Marlena Welsh's shot to preserve Syracuse's four-goal lead at intermission.

The Orange continued to put on the offensive pressure to open the second half as a pair of goals by Rodriguez gave Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 10-4 with 23:38 remaining. Kristen Anderson scored an unassisted goal for Rutgers at the 22:20 mark, and she and Steinber both converted free position attempts to cut SU's lead to 10-7 with 7:00 minutes left to play. That was as close as the Scarlet Knights would get as Murray recorded the game's final goal with 2:49 remaining to give the Orange a 11-7 victory.

Rodriguez tallied a career-high three goals while Murray had two goals. Webster and Ladouceur each finished with a goal and an assist. Steinber led Rutgers with four goals

Syracuse outshot Rutgers, 22-21, and picked up 16 ground balls to 10 for the Scarlet Knights. Both teams won 10 draw controls. Hogan finished with seven saves and three ground balls. Aimee Chotikul and Lily Kalata combined for seven saves for Rutgers.

Syracuse will play its sixth consecutive road games on Monday, April 4 at Dartmouth at 4 p.m.

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