April 12, 2014

Treanor Notches Seven as No. 3 Orange Topple No. 1 UNC

by Tyler Piccotti | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter


SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels have had few weaknesses in 2014, but one of them is the inability to stop Syracuse attack Kayla Treanor.

On Jan. 26, Treanor lit up the Heels for seven goals and two assists as a member of Team USA in an exhibition game at Champion Challenge, the US Lacrosse event in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. But on Saturday, the sophomore delivered an equally impressive encore performance at the Carrier Dome.

Treanor scored seven goals, including two in the final nine minutes, to help the third-ranked Orange (13-1) pull away from North Carolina for a 12-9 victory in front of a school-record home crowd of 2,142 fans. Treanor's seven goals set a new career-high and were the most by an Orange player in any game this season.

"She's probably the only player in the country that's scored seven goals on that team twice," Orange head coach Gary Gait said. "She stepped up today. She has incredible potential and just played outstanding."

Treanor opened the scoring only 5:56 into the game as she blew by defender Courtney Waite to the right of the cage and fired from right outside the crease. Only four minutes later, she did the exact same thing.

Stephanie Lobb then tried to contain the Niskayuna, N.Y., standout, but fared no better. Treanor would deposit two beautiful passes from Alyssa Murray for another pair of goals by the end of the half.

"With the support I had around me, Alyssa Murray fed me the ball really well," Treanor said. "Just staying focused on my game instead of the defenders was the objective."

But down 6-3 at the break, the Tar Heels (12-2) mounted a rally. Using a pair of three-goal spurts, they eventually tied the game at nine with 12:27 remaining.

Led by Treanor, though, Syracuse strung together the final charge.

The sophomore gave Syracuse the eventual game-winner with 9:01 remaining. After Amy Cross doubled the lead moments later, Treanor bookended the contest with her seventh and final goal.

Treanor's seven tallies tied for the second-highest mark in school history, behind only Murray's eight goals against Boston College on Feb. 21, 2012.

After the game, UNC head coach Jenny Levy had nothing but high praise for Syracuse's top-scorer, saying none of the plans the team had to stop her worked well enough to complete the comeback.

"We play everybody in the country almost, the top teams, and she's certainly the best we've played this season," Levy said. "You have to be careful because if you hone in too much on her, then she ends up having six assists."

Treanor has provided consistent firepower on offense the entire season and been the biggest reason for the Orange's success. With this performance, she might have also distanced herself as a Tewaaraton favorite.

With the win, Syracuse could vault to a No. 1 ranking in the major national rankings this week. It was that potential prize that gave Treanor the added motivation to have yet another stellar game.

"I think everyone can say they felt it today," Treanor said. "We're playing the No. 1 team in the country, the defending national champions, so there was just that extra incentive to get it done today."

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