Syracuse upperclassmen look for revenge against top-flight Northwestern

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Senior defender Natalie Glanell is worried she might have trouble falling asleep on Saturday night. That’s understandable considering Syracuse is playing Northwestern on Sunday, a team that has given the senior class nightmares during the past three seasons.The two squads have met four times in that span, including the 2012 national title game. And the Wildcats clawed their way to victory on each occasion. “It’s been a tight game, but we always come out on the wrong side,” SU senior attack Alyssa Murray said. “This year, we’re ready to come out with a good, strong win.”That will be the goal this weekend as Murray, Glanell and their fellow upperclassmen have one more chance to lead No. 3 Syracuse (8-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) past the pesky No. 7 Wildcats (4-2, 2-1 American Lacrosse) in the Carrier Dome on Sunday at 1 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU’s seniors have contributed an all facets on the team’s current two-game winning streak. Murray and Katie Webster paced the offense with a combined seven goals and four assists, while defenders Glanell, Kasey Mock and Liz Harbeson helped the defense force 38 turnovers.Alyssa Costantino has also shined with eight saves between the pipes.And with one of the most anticipated games of the year up next, Glanell said it would take similar efforts from every senior for the Orange to get the revenge it so desperately wants.“You can compare it as much as you want to the other seasons,” Glanell said, “but it’s going to come down to how we come out on Sunday. It’s going to be different than every other time we’ve played them.”The Class of 2014 can find a small confidence boost from the fact that three of its duels with NU were decided by two goals or fewer, including one in overtime. Still, that’s not enough to erase the frustration from a quartet of setbacks.None has stung more than the championship game loss. After jumping out to a two-goal lead, the Orange surrendered a three-goal outburst at the end of the first half and never recovered. Although Murray will never forget how lucky she was to play in the national final, she said the upperclassmen on the team are still haunted by the 8-6 defeat.“Getting to play in the national championship, but not getting the win was really a horrible feeling in your stomach,” Murray said “It just gives you a little extra drive, especially when you’re playing the team that made you get that feeling in your stomach two years ago.”Adding to the significance of the game is Murray’s familiarity with a number of names on the Northwestern roster. Murray played with NU attack Christina Esposito at West Babylon (N.Y.) Senior High School and has also built acquaintances with Kara Mupo and leading goal-scorer Alyssa Leonard.“It’s good to play people that you know,” Murray said. “It’s really competitive, and you just want those bragging rights.”Syracuse head coach Gary Gait pinpointed winning draw controls as a key to beat the Wildcats. Senior Kirkland Locey and teammate Kailah Kempney struggled in the circle against Maryland on March 10, and Gait said lost opportunities doomed his squad that evening.“We didn’t get to the 50 percent and missed four or five more possessions,” Gait said. “We’ve got to compete in those areas and win those battles.”Glanell said the determining factor will be the Orange’s chemistry and that if all players communicate with one another and do their jobs, the fifth time should be the charm for the seniors. “When everyone’s on the same page, we kill it. We crush it,” Glanell said. “We come out on top when we’re working together, and that’s what it’s all about.” Comments Published on March 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm Contact Tyler: [email protected]last_img

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