Syracuse University Magazine

Title Shot

The Syracuse University women’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA tournament final for the second time in three years, but missed its shot at the national title, falling to top-ranked Maryland, 15-12, on May 25 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Maryland, before a record crowd of 10,311. “Unfortunately, we came up short today,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait ’90 said in the post-game press conference. “[We] played hard to the end. We’ll go back to the drawing board next year.”

In a game marked by scoring swings, the second-ranked Orange battled back from a 5-0 opening deficit and a seven-point one in the second half, but was never able to take command from the Terrapins. “It’s a game of runs and unfortunately their runs were a little too large and too many at once—made it tough for us,” Gait said.

Trailing 15-8 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game, the Orange unleashed its potent offense with four unanswered goals—just as it had in the first half to erase Maryland’s 5-0 lead. Attack Alyssa Murray ’14 scored on an unassisted shot with 4:21 left to pull Syracuse within three, 15-12. “We were just going and going hard and I think we caught Maryland on their heels a little, not expecting us to go at them like we did,” Murray said. “But, unfortunately, we ran out of time.”

The Orange women moved into the championship game with tourney victories over Stony Brook (13-6), Boston College (11-9), and Virginia (16-8), which marked their third straight NCAA Final Four appearance and fifth since 2008. Murray, attack Kayla Treanor ’16, and defender Natalie Glanell ’14 were named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. Gait’s squad completed the season with a 21-3 record, with Maryland accounting for all three Orange losses, including one in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament title game. “It’s kind of frustrating that we just lost to Maryland three times,” said midfielder Katie Webster ’14, who, along with Murray, netted three goals in the NCAA final. “But just the fact that we beat everybody else is great and I’m proud of everyone.”

For good reason. En route to being the nation’s highest scoring team in 2014, the Orange set a school record for victories and collected a share of the ACC regular-season title. Treanor and Murray led the nation in individual scoring, collecting 117 and 110 points, respectively. The duo was also named finalists for the Tewaaraton Award—which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding player—and received All-America First-Team honors from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). Murray is the second player in school history to earn IWLCA first-team recognition three times in a career, while Treanor, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, earned All-America First-Team honors for the second straight season. Defender Kasey Mock ’14, who anchored the Syracuse defense, earned a spot on the All-America Second Team. also named the trio to its All-America team, with Treanor receiving Player of the Year honors.

“This was a heck of a season,” Murray said. “We made history at Syracuse. We definitely left our mark as a class. We definitely showed the underclassmen the Syracuse way.” —Jay Cox


All-Americans Kayla Treanor '16 (above) and Alyssa Murray '14 (below) helped lead the SU women's lacrosse team to the NCAA championship game in May.