May 1, 2011

Syracuse Wins Share of Big East Title

from press release

– No. 18 Syracuse has won a share of the 2011 BIG EAST women's lacrosse regular-season title with a 20-6 victory at Villanova on Saturday, May 1. The Orange, which extended its winning streak to four, ends the regular season with an overall record of 10-7 and a 7-1 mark in conference play. It marks the fourth time Syracuse has either won or tied for the league regular-season title in the last five years.

Senior Tee Ladouceur (Slingerlands, N.Y.) led an explosive Orange offense with a career-high eight points on three goals and five assists. Twelve different players found the back of the net for Syracuse, including six who scored multiple goals. Junior Sarah Holden (Syracuse, N.Y.) had a hat trick to along with an assist, while sophomore Michelle Tumolo (Mullica Hill, N.J.) added two goals and two assists.

While the offense was clicking, Syracuse's defense was just as effective, forcing 21 Villanova (5-11, 1-7) turnovers. Senior goalkeeper Liz Hogan (Victor, N.Y.) made 10 saves, caused one turnover and picked up a ground ball while allowing just one goal in 39 minutes of action.

"I liked the fact that we executed" said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "The players challenged themselves. We're making plays. We have enough game experience that the game has slowed down for our freshman and sophomores. The first half of the year, they were making mistakes when they had opportunities to make plays. Against Loyola, they made the plays when they had to and took control of the game. That comes from the experience they've had through the first part of the season."

The Orange took control of the game early, scoring the first seven goals of the game. Sophomore Linley Block (Stratham, N.H.) caused a turnover on Villanova's first possession, which led to Ladouceur's goal on an assist from Holden one minute into the game. Holden recorded back-to-back goals before freshmen Alyssa Murray (West Babylon, N.Y.) and Kirkland Locey (Baltimore, Md.), Tumolo and senior Catherine Rodriguez (Bellevue, Wash.) each found the back of the net to give Syracuse a 7-0 lead with 12:39 remaining in the half. After Carly Miller scored the Wildcats only goal of the first half at the 10:04 mark, the Orange closed out the half with six consecutive goals to take a 13-1 lead into the locker room at intermission.

The 13 goals are the most for Syracuse in a half this season, while the one goal is the fewest the Orange has allowed in a half in 2011.

The second half featured more Orange offense as it continued to build it advantage. Junior Lauren Welch's (Camillus, N.Y.) goal at the 5:13 mark gave Syracuse its largest lead of the day at 20-2, before Villanova netted the final four goals of the game for the 20-6 final.

Sophomore Taylor Nims (Watertown, N.Y.) netted a career-high two goals, as did Welch and Locey. Murray recorded a goal and two assists, while freshman Katie Webster (Syracuse, N.Y.) had a goal and an assist. Senior Lindsey Connell (Tyngsboro, Mass.), junior Heather Wentz (West Chester, Pa.) and freshman Amy Cross (Oreland, Pa.) each finished with one goal.

Sophomore Marley Ciferri (Ithaca, N.Y.) dished out a career-high three assists as the Orange recorded 16 assists on its 20 goals. Sophomores Trenna Hill (Nedrow, N.Y.) and Tori Praino (Liverpool, N.Y.) has one assist each.

Freshman Alyssa Costantino (West Islip, N.Y.) and junior Brooke Conley (Chevy Chase, Md.) provided back up for Hogan in goal. Conley made two saves.

Syracuse will compete in the BIG EAST Tournament starting Thursday, May 5 at Georgetown. The winner of the conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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