Syracuse Women fall short in Big East title game

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - No. 2/2 Syracuse (16-3) had its school-record 15-game winning streak end in a 13-7 setback to No. 12/10 Loyola (Md.) (13-5) in the championship game of the BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday, May 5 in the Carrier Dome.

Three members of the Orange were named to the All-Tournament team, including junior Michelle Tumolo, sophomore Alyssa Murray and junior Becca Block. Tumolo led the Orange with three points (2g, 1a) in the championship game, while Murray added a pair of goals. Block had a goal to go along with two draw controls.

The Greyhounds jumped out to a 2-0 lead before SU freshman Devon Collins converted a free position attempt to cut the lead in half. Following a Loyola score, Tumolo and Block netted back-to-back goals to even the score at 3-3 with 25:25 left in the first half. With the Greyhounds leading 4-3, Orange freshman Kailah Kempney had a chance to tie the game, but hit the post with shot on a wide open net. The Greyhounds extended its lead with a 4-0 scoring run during the last 11 minutes of the first half to take a 7-3 lead into the locker rooms at halftime.

After Murray struck first for the Orange in the second half, Loyola scored six consecutive goals to take its biggest lead of the game at 13-4 with 8:08 remaining. The Orange attempted a late comeback with three consecutive goals. Murray ended Syracuse's scoring drought with her second goal of the day off an assist from Tumolo at the 7:55 mark. Sixteen seconds later, Tumolo found the back of the net to cut the lead to 13-6. Senior Sarah Holden scored an unassisted goal with 3:38 on the clock to get the Orange within six, but that was as close as SU could get.

"I give Loyola a lot of credit," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "They played an outstanding game. I thought mentally we struggled with the style of the goalkeeper. Our players were not confident taking their shots and we shot well below our season average. We didn't make the adjustments we've been talking about for a week and half (since the last time we played them)."

Sophomore Alyssa Costantino played 51 minutes in goal for the Orange, and recorded nine saves. Freshman Kelsey Richardson played eight minutes and had one save.

Annie Thomas and Kara Burke led the Greyhound attack, scoring five points apiece. Goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff earned the victory, saving 11 shot attempts. She was named the tournament MVP.

Loyola outshot SU, 26-23, and won the ground ball battle, 19-10. The Orange had 13 draw controls, to the Greyhounds' eight.

Syracuse will learn its postseason fate at the Division I Women's Lacrosse Selection Announcement on Sunday, May 6 at 9 p.m. The show will be broadcast on