SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) — A career-high six goals from Emma Ward pushed No. 3/3 Syracuse (15-3) past No. 8/7 Florida (18-3) by a score of 17-11 on Sunday afternoon at SU Soccer Stadium to advance the Orange to their eighth national semifinal in program history.
“This was a great opportunity to play at home. So far, the top seeds have gotten the job done and we stepped up today,” said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. “When the game was tied at five at halftime, I knew that we could step up and play better and I just asked our team to stick with the game plan, continue to play the offense, and relax a little bit. We’re excited to head back to the Final Four. It’s been a bit of a drought, but we’re back.”
Ward’s six goals were one shy of tying the program-record for goals in a game by a freshman and tied with Alyssa Murray’s six-goal performance against Virginia in 2012 for the second-most goals by a Syracuse player in an NCAA Tournament contest. Ward also contributed a team-best seven points, tying her career high that came against UAlbany. Emma Tyrrell (4G, 2A) and Meaghan Tyrrell (3G, 3A) followed closely behind with six points apiece.
The teams traded pairs of goals during the first 14 minutes before tallied from Meaghan Tyrrell and Sam Swart gave the Orange a two-goal advantage, 4-2, with 12:32 remaining in the opening frame. The Gators notched three of the final four goals in the half to send the teams to the break even at five.
Syracuse surged ahead at the start of the second stanza by tallying five unanswered goals in nine minutes. Ward and Emma Tyrrell scored two goals apiece during the stretch to give the ‘Cuse a 10-5 lead with 21:28 remaining in the contest.
Florida’s Grace Haus found the back of the net at the 20:49 mark to stop the Syracuse scoring streak, but the Orange answered back with goals from Ward and Emma Tyrrell to extend their lead to six, 12-6, with 17:18 left in the contest.
Over the ensuing ten minutes, the Gators outscored the Orange 4-1 and made the contest a three-goal affair, 13-10, with just over eight minutes left on the clock.
However, the Orange offense proved too much down the stretch. Syracuse scored four of the game’s final five goals to secure a 17-11 victory and advance to the Final Four.
Syracuse advances to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament to face No. 2/2 Northwestern at Towson University on May 28.