WLAX : MISSING HISTORY: Syracuse falls to Northwestern in program’s 1st-ever national title game

first_img Published on May 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Once again, Syracuse had a chance to stage a comeback.Trailing by two goals in the waning minutes of regulation against Northwestern, Katie Webster took a stick to the head, drawing a free position shot and setting up a prime opportunity for the Orange to cut into the lead.But Sarah Holden’s stick was deemed illegal and a jump ball was awarded in place of the free position. The call cost Syracuse arguably its best chance to cut into the Wildcats’ lead late as NU came away with possession and ran the clock down into the final minute.‘I wasn’t happy with the call,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said. ‘I thought it was a yellow card type check. … It was a crazy situation.’Northwestern held off Syracuse for an 8-6 victory to win the national championship Sunday in front of 7,127 at LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. The Wildcats’ defense limited the Orange’s opportunities on offense and held SU to its lowest scoring output all season. While the No. 4 seed SU (19-4) struggled due to a lack of possession, but it also simply failed to execute against second-seeded Northwestern (21-2), who won its seventh national title in eight years.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse dominated possession early and took a 2-0 lead, but failed to stretch its lead beyond two goals in the first half.Ultimately, SU’s inability to strike more in the first 10 minutes came back to haunt the Orange‘NU wanted to make it a low-scoring game,’ Gait said. ‘We thought they would and we tried to put pressure on them and get some turnovers. And when they decide to play that style of being up one or two and wait out the clock and it’s not great for TV and it’s not great for our girls, but it’s a way to win championships.’Northwestern rode its stingy defense – ranked second in the nation this season allowing just 7.57 goals per game – led by Tewaaraton finalist Taylor Thornton to the championship.The Wildcats held the Orange’s top playmaker and Tewaaraton finalist Michelle Tumolo to just one shot on the night.‘We had some really key matchups on the defensive end and just playing back to the basics solid one-v-one defense,’ Thornton said. ‘… We knew we could send some slides on people. Just a great, tremendous job of communication on our end.’SU’s lack of opportunities also made it tough to break through offensively.Syracuse won just one of 10 draws in the first half and couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm on offense.And when the Orange finally did get opportunities, they were often squandered quickly.Syracuse had a chance to seize the momentum when it finally cut the deficit to one midway through the second half. Devon Collins ran free around the crease and fired a shot wide that appeared to be backed up by Michelle Tumolo. However, Collins stepped over the crease line for a violation to turn the ball back over to NU.SU attack Alyssa Murray said with Northwestern dominating possession, the Orange didn’t have many quality opportunities.‘You have to give them credit. They played a great game,’ she said.Still, SU also reflected on its historic season, in which it reached its first national title game in program history.Defender Janelle Stegeland and her senior teammates, who won’t be back to try to avenge the championship loss, have unwavering confidence in the direction of the program after their unprecedented success this season.‘I’m so proud of this team and we kept talking about what it feels like to have a great run and hit a lot of benchmarks,’ Stegeland said. ‘I think this team is going to come back and I think they’re going to win it.’[email protected]last_img

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