Syracuse beats UVa to reach women’s LAX title game

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Alyssa Murray scored six goals and Kayla Treanor had four goals, leading Syracuse past Virginia 16-8 Friday night in the semifinals of the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament.

The second-seeded Orange (21-2) advance to the national championship for the second time in program history and will face top-seeded Maryland in Sunday’s title game.

“I thought that was a great effort on our part,” Syracuse coach Gary Gait. “It was a very good Virginia team that fought hard to the end. I thought our focus was very good from the opening whistle. The execution was exceptional.”

Treanor, the nation’s leading scorer with 114 points, added three assists. Murray scored six goals on seven shots and added three assists.

Maddie Keeshan and Kelly Boyd each scored three goals for sixth-seeded Virginia (12-9), which was making its first trip to the semifinals since 2007.

Syracuse dominated from the opening draw and never trailed. Murray and Treanor both took advantage of single coverage throughout the game.

“Not having a double team is something we have not faced in a while and maybe that’s why they tried to do it,” Murray said. “Treanor and I work well together when they’re not doing that. We know we can use each other. Back to the championship is a great feeling.”

Goals by Loren Ziegler and Murray less than a minute apart provided the Orange with a 6-1 lead with 6:28 left in the first half. Another goal by Murray in the closing seconds boosted the margin to 9-3 at the break.

A goal by Keeshan pulled Virginia within 11-6 midway through the second half. Murray and Treanor responded with a pair of goals and the Orange coasted the rest of the way.

“I think they played incredibly well,” Virginia coach Julie Myers said about Syracuse. “They were physical. They were tough and strong and they made it tough for us to find our rhythm. But it wasn’t because of a lack of effort on our part. I give Syracuse credit for jumping out to a lead and really having a dominant game all over the field.”

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