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    Northwestern Falls to Third-Ranked Orange, 11-7

    March 23, 2014

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    Northwestern

    (4-3, 1-1 ALC)

    No. 3 Syracuse 11, No. 7 Northwestern 7
    Carrier Dome • Syracuse, N.Y. • Attendance: 1,254

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    (9-1, 2-1 ACC)

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Locked in a 6-6 game early in the second half, No. 7 Northwestern and No. 3 Syracuse appeared headed for another down-to-the-wire outcome typical of their recent meetings. But the Orange -- whose only loss this year came at the hands of No. 2 Maryland -- broke things open with a 4-0 run over nine minutes of game action and held on to defeat Northwestern, 11-7, Sunday in the Carrier Dome.

    Redshirt junior Kara Mupo led Northwestern on the stat sheet with her three-goal effort, while sophomore Kaleigh Craig netted two and senior Alyssa Leonard handed out a pair of assists.

    Sophomore Lauren Murray stepped into the draw circle midway through the first half and collected a career-high-tying four draw controls for the day, while Leonard led all players with six. Northwestern owned a 13-7 edge in draws for the game but committed 18 turnovers to SU's 13, including 12 in the second half.

    Northwestern's early offense came courtesy of Craig who spotted an opening on NU's second possession and scored with a right-handed rip past Syracuse goalie Kelsey Richardson. The Wildcats then took a 2-1 lead when Alyssa Leonard fed a wide-open Mupo on the crease for Mupo's 11th goal of the season.

    Freshman Sheila Nesselbush later tied the game at three with a nifty spin-dodge to her left hand, beating Richardson top shelf for her second score of the season. Syracuse would then score the next two before senior Kate Macdonald stepped up with a key caused turnover and clear, setting up Mupo's second goal of the day to make it 5-4 at the 8:35 mark of the first half.

    The Orange added one more score on a free position to enter halftime with a 6-4 advantage, the fifth time in seven games the Wildcats would need a second-half comeback to escape with a win.

    And the 'Cats looked up to the task early in the second half, getting yet another goal by Craig on a hard dodge to the right hand and then leveling the score at six on a left-handed rip by Central New York native Kat DeRonda. But a goal by Syracuse's Amy Cross restored a one-goal SU lead and proved to be the start of SU's game-deciding run.

    With the Wildcats hampered by a few uncharacteristic turnovers, Syracuse struck three more times over a span of four minutes to establish a 10-6 advantage. Northwestern pulled within three when Leonard fed Mupo for a quickstick goal with 7:40 left -- breaking a 20-minute long scoreless drought -- but it was as close as NU would come down the stretch.

    On defense, senior Kerri Harrington locked down on Syracuse super sophomore Kayla Treanor, who entered the game with 51 points this season but managed only one free position score against the Wildcats until netting the final goal of the game with 4:26 remaining. Goalkeeper Bridget Bianco collected seven saves in the cage for Northwestern.

    Syracuse notched its first win over Northwestern since May 3, 2003, breaking a string of 11 straight wins by NU in the series that began with an NU win on March 31, 2006.

    From Central New York, the Wildcats now head east to take on undefeated Atlantic-10 foe Massachusetts. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT at UMass' McGuirk Stadium.

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