Erin Francis and SU Girls Lacrosse win opening day games

Original Article found at

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – No. 3/4 Syracuse opened the 2015 season by sweeping a doubleheader at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, Feb. 7. The Orange defeated No. 19/20 Denver, 18-10, in the first game of the day before defeating Canisius, 21-13, in the nightcap.

"It was a fun day," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "It definitely was a day of ups and downs and runs and refocusing. I thought that when we needed it, the players stepped up and played very well today. I was happy to get our players in there. In the second game I think we played 41 players and I'm pretty sure no one has played 41 players in a game in Division I. We have a large roster and I'm proud that we were able to get done what we wanted to and that was to provide playing opportunities for our young players. We did that today so we're thrilled with how it went."

Junior Kayla Treanor picked up where she left off last season when she led the nation in scoring. Treanor finished with eight points on the day, including a team-best six against Denver. Newcomer Halle Majorana had seven points against Canisius and finished the day with 11.

Freshman Riley Donahue also had seven points against the Golden Griffins. She is the first Syracuse freshman to record seven points in a game since Treanor accomplished the feat against Dartmouth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. In addition, senior Kailah Kempney recorded 14 draw controls against Canisius to break her own single-game school record of 12, which she set last against Stetson.

In game one against Denver, Syracuse used an 8-1 scoring run that covered the final 17:54 of the first half and the first 4:06 of the second to take an 11-3 lead. Six different players scored during the run, including Taylor Gait, who recorded her first career goal. The Orange led by nine twice, but back-to-back goals by the Pioneers cut the deficit to seven at 15-8 with 7:17 remaining. That was as close as Denver could get as Kempney answered with her second goal of the game with 6:46 on the clock. The teams traded goals before Treanor finished out the scoring when she took a long pass from Erin Franics and put her shot from the left doorstep into the back of the net for the 18-10 final.

The Orange tallied the first four goals against Canisius as SU led, 8-2, with 13:24 remaining in the first half. Majorana keyed the fast start, scoring three goals and dishing out two assists during the run. Tori Quinn sparked a Canisius comeback with four goals in a span of 4:31 as the Golden Griffins trailed 10-7 at halftime.

Syracuse took control of the game in the second half. The Orange opened the second stanza with three straight goals by junior Erica Bodt, Taylor Poplawski and Gait. After Allie Stewart scored for Canisius, the Orange tallied eight of the game's next nine goals to take its largest lead of the game at 21-9 with 7:36 remaining. Donahue and sophomore Tori Wehner each scored twice during the run. Canisius recorded the final four goals for the 21-13 final.

Syracuse will host another doubleheader on Sunday, Feb 15 when it hosts Canisius at noon and Presbyterian at 7:30 p.m.