Beat writers predict Syracuse-USC women’s lacrosse quarterfinal game
Hannah Wagner | Staff Photographer
No. 4 seed Syracuse (18-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 5 seed Southern California (20-0, 9-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. The winner advances to the Final Four next weekend. Here’s how our beat writers forecast the game.
Syracuse 9, USC 8
Fall of Troy
USC is on its way to becoming a force to be reckoned with, but not quite yet. It’s the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s first team ever in the quarterfinals and despite its No. 1 defense in the nation, it comes up against one of the best-prepared squads in the NCAA. The Orange will also have the best player on the field in Kayla Treanor. This pick is more about Syracuse’s experience and ability to adapt (see solving Stony Brook’s defense) than USC. Plus, one team traveled about 2,700 miles for this game, and it wasn’t Syracuse.
Syracuse 9, USC 6
Movin’ On Up
Even though USC plays in an incredibly weak conference, its 20-0 record is legit, as shown with wins over big programs Duke, Northwestern, Stony Brook and Notre Dame. The Trojans are powered by their defense, which allows just 5.5 goals per game, the best mark in the country. When they beat UND, the final score was 5-4. But SU will win because Treanor will dominate on the draw against the 26th-ranked Trojans draw-control unit, and the offense will do just enough with, or without, Treanor to get the victory.
Syracuse 8, USC 7
Cloudy with a chance of Treanor
After a disappointing game against Stony Brook, everyone’s waiting for Treanor to assert herself against USC and show why she was named a Tewaaraton Award finalist for the third year in a row. This game will be close, but Treanor — who’s likely to be neutralized by the Trojans who allow just 5.5 goals a game — won’t be responsible for the outcome regardless. This game will be decided in SU’s defensive half and will rest with Allie Murray and company shutting down Michaela Michael who leads USC and ranks second in the nation in scoring with 97 points on 66 goals and 31 assists. If the Orange defense can hold, Syracuse and Treanor will survive and advance.
Published on May 21, 2016 at 9:29 am