It certainly was not easy, but the result was the one the Syracuse Orange women's lacrosse program was hoping for as were the Orange faithful that watched inside the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon. A pair of seniors hooked up for the game deciding goal as attacker Halle Majorna hit midfielder Kelly Cross who hit the shot in overtime to send Syracuse to their fifth straight Final Four appearance with a 12-11 victory over USC.
It was Majorna's sixth point of the game to lead the Orange (three goals, three assists). Kayla Treanor tallied five points on three goals and two assists. Treanor now has 392 career points, just four behind the school record. She is also just 10 points shy of the NCAA single season record. The Orange hope she has two more games to add to her total.
"It was an amazing game," Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said after the game. "(It was) back and forth, a game of runs. I thought USC was an amazing team. They certainly showed why they were 20-0 (coming into the game). In the back of my head the number was 12, and it ended up being 12.
"That's the first time anybody's put 12 up on them this year. It was key to get opportunities to put the ball into the back of the net and make sure it wasn't a nine- or 10-goal game."
Coming into Saturday's tilt, USC was a perfect 20-0 on the season, as coach Gate mentioned, in just the program's fourth year of existence. In a back and fourth contest, they let a two goal second half advance slip away, but fought back from an 11-8 deficit to tie the game late in regulation off of a Cynthia Del Core goal.
The Trojans had a chance to win it at the end, but Orange goalie Allie Murray saved a USC shot with nine seconds left to send the game into the extra frame. Amanda Johansen led USC with six points on four goals and two assists.
USC got the first possession in overtime after winning the face off, but turned it over in their offensive zone. Syracuse took control of the ball and scored moments later.
Syracuse lost the total draws 14-11 and ground balls 13-12. USC also outshot the Orange 25-19. None of those stats ended up mattering, however, as the Orange gutted out a tough victory at home.
Syracuse will face either No. 1 Maryland or UMass on Friday, May 27th. The game start at either 5:00pm or 7:30pm.