Trojan Lacrosse Falls in NCAA Overtime Heartbreaker to Syracuse

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    May 21, 2016

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    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The fifth-seeded USC women's lacrosse team (20-1) was defeated for the first and only time in a narrow 12-11 overtime decision by fourth-seeded Syracuse (19-5) in the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA tournament at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, May 21. The Women of Troy had their historic dream season ended by the Orange in the first period of sudden-victory overtime; USC's only overtime game this spring.

    Up, 7-5, six minutes into the second half, the Trojans fell back by three goals (11-8) when the Orange ripped open the game on a 6-1 run. But USC fought on to score the final three goals in regulation and equalized the game on a goal by junior attacker Cynthia Del Core to send the game to overtime. The Trojans out-shot the Orange, 25-19, and held the edge in ground balls, 13-12, and in draw controls, 14-11.

    Del Core's final goal gave her a hat trick on the day. She also had two ground balls and a draw control. Senior midfielder Amanda Johansen led all players with four goals and finished with six points (two assists). Johansen also powered the Trojans' game in the center circle with seven draw controls. Junior attacker Michaela Michael scored a pair of goals and had four draw controls. Junior attacker Gabby McMahon scored a goal and dished out an assist and junior midfielder Drew Jackson scored the other USC goal. Junior attacker Kylie Drexel dished out three assists and picked up a draw control and a ground ball.

    On the defensive end, senior Courtney Tarleton caused a pair of turnovers, picked up two ground balls, and secured a draw control. Sophomore defender Lydia Sutton had a pair of ground balls and sophomore goalie Gussie Johns had three ground balls and a caused turnover to go with four saves.

    For the Orange, Kayla Treanor had three goals and two assists and grabbed nine draw controls. Halle Majorana scored three goals and handed out three assists. Kelly Cross scored two including the game-winner and Riley Donohue had two goals and two assists. Allie Murray finished with eight saves in the cage and picked up a pair of ground balls.

    The Trojans struck first as McMahon took a pass from Johansen and dodged her way to goal to beat Murray high just over 30 seconds into the game. Syracuse had a 3-0 run for an answer and led, 3-1, 10 minutes in. A win in the draw circle by Michael led to a goal by Johansen just 30 seconds after the Orange had built their lead. Johns posted back-to-back saves to keep the Trojans within striking distance but both sides were held scoreless for 10 minutes until Johansen one-timed a shot off a pass into the eight-meter arc from Drexel for the goal to knot the score at three all.

    Syracuse went ahead again at 6:10 left to the half when Donohue shot low to score off the assist from Treanor. In their set offense, the Trojans equalized for a third time when Michael took the assist from Johansen to score at 3:32. Just 25 seconds later, Jackson rolled the right side of the crease and bounced a shot through to put the Trojans back on top, 5-4. The Orange cleared a USC turnover and went the distance to set Donohue up with the goal and a five-all tie at 1:50 left in the half. The five-up tie held up until the halftime break.

    Just before five minutes had elapsed in the second half, the Trojans scratched first as Johansen notched her hat trick on a give-and-go play with Drexel. Johansen rolled to the crease where Drexel returned the pass for a goal and a 6-5 USC lead. The Trojans went up by two goals, 7-5, when Del Core cut across the crease to take a feed from Drexel for the goal at 24:05. The Orange thought they had pulled within one at 23:21, but a dangerous shot yellow card charged to Treanor took the goal off the board. Syracuse successfully nullified the card and got its sixth goal at 19:49 when Majorana fed Cross for the goal. Two minutes later, it was Majorana's turn as she took a pass from Treanor to even the game for a fifth time at seven goals a side.

    Majorana put her hat trick in the books when she scored the Orange's third goal in a span of two minutes to put Syracuse up, 8-7, at the 17:07 mark. Johns stopped Majorana's next attempt on a free-position shot and allowed the Women of Troy to pull even at eight-all when Johansen scored her fourth goal with 14:32 to play. It took less than half a minute for Majorana to do more damage as she hit Erica Bolt with a pass for the go-ahead goal at 13:56. The Trojans were close on an equalizer but senior attacker Caroline deLyra's point-blank shot was turned away by Murray.

    The Trojans were on their heels when Treanor scored at 12:04 and then again at 8:45 to complete the Orange's 6-1 run. USC remained patient and set up its offense. A shot off the Orange goalie found its way back to Del Core's stick with 5:54 to go. She wheeled around the crease to start the Trojans' comeback and pulled USC within two at 11-9. A yellow card to senior Kaitlyn Couture put the Trojans down a player, but their stifling defense won them the ball back.

    With 3:18 to play, McMahon found Michael at the top of the arc. Michael took one step and unloaded from 25 yards out to score USC's 10th goal. Following a stick check, Syracuse's Nicole Levy was sent off on an un-releasable yellow card for an illegal stick. The infraction put the ball into Michael's crosse and set the Trojans up for the dramatic equalizer. With 1:53 to play, Del Core put one in the top shelf to beat Murray off a pass from Johansen and pulled USC even in the game. The Trojans worked for the final shot but were denied to send the game into overtime.

    For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCTrojansLax. For more information on the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship, please visit NCAA.com.

    GAME NOTES

    • USC suffered its first and only loss of the 2016 season and finished with a 20-1 overall record.
    • The Trojans fell to Syracuse in the teams' first-ever meeting.
    • The Women of Troy fell to 0-4 in all-time overtime games. It was the only overtime game played by USC this season.
    • USC had its MPSF-record 20-game winning streak snapped.
    • The Trojans fell to 4-8 in all-time games played on the east coast.
    • Syracuse's 12 goals are the most scored against USC by an opponent this season.
    • The one-goal final margin was the fourth such finish for the Trojans this year. The other three were victories.
    • Junior attacker Michaela Michael scored her school-record 68th goal of the season and moved into second in MPSF history for single-season goals. Her 99 points are also a USC record and fifth in MPSF history.
    • Senior midfielder Amanda Johansen scored four goals for her 22nd-career game with three or more goals.
    • Junior attacker Kylie Drexel tied her career high with three assists.
    • Junior attacker Cynthia Del Core scored her sixth-career game with three goals of more. She finished with a hat trick.