From press releases -- SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse punched its ticket to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Final Four with a 13-9 victory against Florida on Saturday, May 18 in the Carrier Dome. The Orange will make its second straight appearance in the national semifinals and fourth since 2008. Syracuse, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, will face top-seeded and undefeated Maryland on Friday, May 24 at Villanova University.
The Orange extended its winning streak to 13 games and improved its record to 18-3. The Gators end the year with an 18-3 mark.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game against a very good Florida team," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "They got the better of us earlier this year in Miami. We looked at this game as an opportunity to demonstrate how much we've grown and how far we've come since the beginning of the year. From top to bottom our players gave incredible effort. Mistakes were made but there were plays made. In the second half we had opportunities and the players stepped up and did a wonderful job. I'm really proud of our team."
Freshman Kayla Treanor led Syracuse with four points, three coming in the second half as she helped the Orange pull away after intermission. Junior Alyssa Murray had two goals and an assist, while junior Katie Webster and sophomores Kailah Kempney and Devon Collins had two goals each.
Treanor keyed Syracuse's decisive 7-2 second-half scoring run that gave the Orange control of the game. The teams were tied, 4-4, at intermission before Treanor gave SU the lead for good with an unassisted goal 53 seconds into the second half. She recorded a second unassisted goal at the 26:51 mark, but Nora Barry found the back of the net for the Gators to cut the lead to one.
Webster continued SU's offensive outburst with a free position goal, and Collins scored on an assist from Treanor. After a Kitty Cullen goal, Becca Block, Murray and Collins all scored to give Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 11-6 with 9:08 to play. The Gators netted three of the game's next four goals, but Kempney halted Florida's comeback effort with an unassisted goal at the 1:26 mark to put the game out of reach.
Both teams held leads in the first half but neither could pull away. The Orange jumped to an early advantage on goals by Treanor and Webster before Florida posted three unanswered tallies to take its only lead of the game. Freshman Kelly Cross and Murray netted back-to-back goals to put SU back on top, but Cullen found the back of the net at the 5:39 mark to even the score at 4-4.
Syracuse outshot Florida, 29-24, and picked up nine ground balls to five for the Gators. Both teams recorded 12 draw controls. The Orange forced 13 Florida turnovers as it held its opponent to less than 10 goals for the 13th consecutive game. Sophomore Kelsey Richardson made six saves in the first half, while junior Alyssa Costantino had three stops in the second half for Syracuse. Florida goalkeeper Mikey Meagher had 13 saves.
Syracuse will face Maryland in the national semifinals on Friday, May 24 at either 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., in Villanova, Pa.