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Big Green See Season End With Second-Round NCAA Loss at Syracuse

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By John and Matt Risley
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – For the second straight spring, Syracuse ended the Dartmouth women’s lacrosse season in the NCAA Tournament, taking down the Big Green, 21-8, Sunday afternoon in a second-round match-up at SU Soccer Stadium.

Sophomore Sarah Byrne became the second player in program history with consecutive games of at least four goals in the NCAA Tournament (Katieanne Christian, 2005). After starting the weekend with four against Boston College on Friday, she matched that output once again on Sunday against the Orange.

Dartmouth concludes the season with an 11-8 record, posting a double-digit win total for the 17th time in Amy Patton’s 21 years as head coach. Fourth-seeded Syracuse improves to 17-3 overall and will host Florida next weekend in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals.

Leading the way for the Orange on this day were Kayla Treanor and Alyssa Murray with five goals apiece. Devon Collins would add three of her own as the home team became just the second program to score 20 in a national postseason game against Dartmouth.

Early on, the Green and White seemed like the hungrier of the two teams, winning the battles and taking a 4-2 lead in the opening minutes. However, a stretch of 14:34 without a goal and the subsequent 7-0 run by Syracuse proved to be the major turning point in the game as the home team would take a 12-6 lead into the intermission.

An 8-0 run to start the second half would follow as the Orange put the contest out of reach.

“The first 15 minutes we were able to do some good things defensively and on the attack,” Patton said. “We were moving the ball quickly and finding the open player, which was what we were looking to do.

“They went on a long stretch of getting the draw and controlling the tempo so we were forced to play defense for extend periods against a very talented team,” Patton continued.

Senior Hana Bowers scored twice in the game and finishes the season with 51 goals, the most by a Dartmouth player in eight years.

Despite her goals allowed total, junior goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello was strong against a potent offensive team that finished with more than 30 shots on goal in the game. Giovanniello turned aside 10 in the game and moved into fourth all-time in program history with 405 for her career.

Syracuse also ousted the Green in last season’s NCAA Tournament, earning a 15-5 home victory in the first round en route to finishing as the national runners-up.

In addition to the goals from Byrne and Bowers, freshmen Jaclyn Leto and Gabby Starkey also added markers in the contest.

For the seven-member senior class, it marked the end of their four-year careers that included three trips to the NCAA Tournament (2011-13), an Ivy League Championship (2011) and a conference tournament title (2012).

“The big thing about this senior class was how high they set the bar in terms of hard work,” Patton remarked. “Our character was tested often this season, things didn’t always go our way. I kept telling the whole group that we had to respond and the seniors were the ones who led the way.

“There were a lot things this team accomplished this season with a very young group” Patton continued. “As we move forward, these seniors really instilled a lot in the younger players that they can take with them as they continue to develop and mature.”