Hawryschuk and Syracuse Plenty Motivated Heading Into Quarterfinals

Emily Hawryschuk has been feeling the love from both of her families.

Her parents, Nicholas and Melissa Hawryschuk, bring the Syracuse junior attack’s three younger siblings 70 miles from their Victor, N.Y. home to see her play home games, and they drive the family’s RV farther to make road games.

“I’m very lucky to have them,” Hawryschuk said. “I don’t think they’ve missed a game this year.”

Hawryschuk honors her father by wearing his college football number, 51, and Sunday she presented her mother with flowers and Reese’s peanut butter cups for Mother’s Day before scoring five goals and two assists in Syracuse’s 14-8 win over Georgetown in the NCAA tournament second round, the first NCAA win her class and younger have experienced at Syracuse.

“I told her hopefully today we get a win because the past two years we haven’t been able to get that,” Hawryschuk said. “It was pretty special.”

When Hawryschuk was not named a Tewaaraton Award finalist last Thursday, she saw her other family spring into action. The Syracuse lacrosse family took to social media to express its displeasure with her exclusion.

“Emily Hawryschuk not being a Tewaaraton finalist is a complete shock to me,” former Syracuse star Alyssa Murray wrote on Twitter last Thursday. “How does someone who scores 4 goals, against almost every top team (while playing in the best conference), get overlooked?! Time to go prove ‘em wrong.”

Hawryschuk’s big game Sunday looked like a statement. It’s the 14th time this season that Hawryschuk has scored four or more goals in a game while helping Syracuse improve to 16-4 overall and advance to the NCAA quarterfinals at fourth-seeded Northwestern 2 p.m. Saturday. The Orange were 9-10 a year ago.

Justin Feil
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“We don’t have a single returning All-American on this team and we’re in the top five,” said Syracuse coach Gary Gait. “She’s the biggest reason for it. If that doesn’t show what an impact or MVP or Player of the Year type player she is, what does?”

Hawryschuk is seventh all-time in Syracuse career scoring already, and her 70 goals this season are sixth all-time in a season, nine behind program leader Kayla Treanor and just four behind Murray’s third-place total.

“I thought it was really cool to have her support me like that on Twitter,” Hawryschuk said. “I sent her a message over text. She’s always been one of my idols. It was an honor to be named to the watch list and list of nominees. Individual accolades are always great, but ultimately I have my heart set on a national championship. I know a lot of the girls on the team were bummed about what happened with the Tewaaraton, but we’re just going to use that going into the last three games of the season.”

Syracuse already had enough motivation. The Orange felt slighted by their No. 5 seeding after they beat Northwestern, 15-14, in overtime on a goal by Hawryschuk on Feb. 24, but Northwestern was awarded the No. 4 seed after winning the Big Ten Tournament championship over previously unbeaten Maryland.

“We did what we thought was deserving of a No. 4 seed and that’s beat every single team we played outside of the top 3, including Northwestern,” Gait said. “I don’t know what else you have to do to earn that spot. I think we had three top 10 wins and multiple ranked wins and we did everything that we could besides the top three.”

The seeds are significant because Northwestern is 7-0 all-time against Syracuse at home. In their first meeting in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse overcame a 20-11 draw control deficit by getting 20 turnovers and picked up their first top-five win of the season on Hawryschuk’s overtime score, a highlight of her career.

“That one’s definitely up towards the top,” she said. “That was a huge win for us, especially early on in the season. Last year, we had a bunch of close one-goal losses. Being able to pull that one out in double overtime was huge.”

"We don’t have a single returning All-American on this team and we’re in the top five. She’s the biggest reason for it." — Syracuse head coach Gary Gait
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Syracuse’s practices this week have targeted improving their draw in the rematch – something they’ve been able to do in rematches against Virginia and Boston College – and Hawryschuk should help. In addition to her scoring acumen, Hawryschuk leads the team with 57 draw controls. She won 12 in its ACC tournament loss to Boston College. The Orange mix it up on the draw with Julie Cross, Hawryschuk, Braelie Kempney, and Morgan Widner all taking them. The Orange have six players with at least 20 draw controls, and understand how important it is to be better on it Saturday.

“Even though we did win it, we still had a lot of mistakes on both ends of the field,” Hawryschuk said. “I think we’ve cleaned up a lot over the season. Even after we won that game, we all knew we’d won it, but we all knew it definitely wasn’t our best performance and we still had a ton of potential that we didn’t show that game. Draw, we’ll definitely focus on because we know we’re a lot better than we were that game. And we’ve also progressed a ton throughout the course of this season. That’s going to be the biggest factor going into that game. If you win the draw, it should correlate into a goal.”

Gait expects another close game between two teams that he sees being evenly matched. And even though his Orange won the first meeting, they come in with a chip on their shoulder after a couple of snubs.

“Those types of situations always motivate people,” Gait said. “But for someone like Emily and this group, they’re motivated by the success of the team. They want to have success, they want to work for it, and they want to do whatever it takes. They don’t really need that extra motivation. They’re a great group.”

Hawryschuk has let her game do her talking. She is thinking only about the team, not the Tewaaraton, when she says:

“I just want to win. That’s all I want to do.”

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Streaking ‘Cats

Mallory Weisse made 10 saves for Northwestern to help hold off Notre Dame, 13-10, Sunday. It’s the sixth straight win for the ‘Cats, and it’s the seventh straight game that the senior goalie has come up with double-digit saves since taking over the starting job April 11 against Maryland.

Northwestern’s attack certainly helped take the pressure off Weisse and her defense by bolting out to an 8-0 lead. Northwestern will host Syracuse in the quarterfinals and try to extend a couple of win streaks. They are 7-0 at home against Syracuse all-time.

Tewaaraton Watch

After the five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award were named last Thursday, all five were in NCAA tournament action Sunday.

Boston College’s Sam Apuzzo, the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner, had seven goals and an assist, won 13 draw controls, caused five turnovers and had four ground balls in the Eagles’ 21-9 win over Colorado in the second round. Apuzzo is trying to become the fifth female to win multiple Tewaaraton Awards.

Apuzzo’s teammate, midfielder Dempsey Arsenault, had a goal and two assists, five draw controls, two caused turnovers and two ground balls.

Maryland goalkeeper Megan Taylor made seven saves and had three ground balls in 60 minutes as the Terps rallied to beat Stony Brook, 17-8, in the second round.

Taylor’s Terps teammate, midfielder Jen Giles, had three goals, caused two turnovers and had two ground balls in the win.

Northwestern’s Selena Lasota had five goals and one assist, came up with four ground balls and had just one turnover in the Wildcats’ 13-10 win over Notre Dame in the second round.

All five Tewaaraton candidates are seniors.

More Parity, More of the Same

This year’s quarterfinals has four different teams than a year ago. Denver is in its first quarterfinal ever after beating Michigan, and the Wolverines too would have been making a first quarterfinal appearance. Virginia topped Navy, a quarterfinalist last year, to advance to its first quarterfinal since 2014. Syracuse returns to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016. Princeton moved into a quarterfinal for the second time in three years with a win over Loyola.

Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina and Northwestern were in last year’s quarterfinals, and BC, Maryland and UNC also reached that far in 2017. Maryland and North Carolina’s quarterfinal streaks go back to when North Carolina eliminated Maryland, 9-6, in the first round of the 2006 tournament. The last time UNC didn’t make the quarterfinals was 2004.

Lost in Translation

Draw controls didn’t translate necessarily into wins in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Only two teams ranked in the top 11 in draw control percentage made it out of the weekend. Boston College won 74 percent of its draws against Colorado to rank second overall. Princeton won 58 percent of its draws against Loyola to rank seventh.

The remainder of the top 11 – Dartmouth (1), James Madison (3), Navy (4), Notre Dame (5), Loyola (6), Fairfield (8), USC (9), Georgetown (10) and Jacksonville (11) – all were eliminated in the play-in, first or second round. North Carolina sits 12th at 54 percent. Virginia at 32 percent for 24th out of 28 teams is the lowest ranked team to reach the final eight.

Short Summary: 
Emily Hawryschuk is not a Tewaaraton finalist and Syracuse is headed on the road to a team it beat.
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Emily Hawryschuk has been one of the nation's most consistent, and best, players this season. She's scored at least four goals in 14 games.
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Syracuse hoped for a better seed after beating Northwestern during the regular season, but Emily Hawryschuk and her teammates at thrilled to be in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016.

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