WLAX : Murray continues stellar season in pair of blowout wins for Syracuse

first_imgFacing three consecutive top-15 teams last week, Syracuse cruised to three victories by a combined margin of 36 goals.This week, SU had a bit of a breather against two mediocre teams in Louisville and Cincinnati. But the Orange didn’t take its foot off the pedal and did exactly what head coach Gary Gait wanted.‘More just continue to play for yourself and for your teammates,’ Gait said. ‘Don’t play down to the opponent’s level. … For the most part, we did a very good job staying focused.’Syracuse (13-0, 6-0 Big East) rode yet another offensive explosion Sunday to cap off a weekend sweep of the Cardinals (3-11, 1-6) and the Bearcats (3-11, 0-7) with a 22-5 victory over the Bearcats in front of 311 in Ohio. The win stretched the Orange’s winning streak to 12 games, equaling the longest in program history. Two days earlier, SU cruised past Louisville 16-9 in front of 303 in Kentucky.With the wins, Syracuse locked up a spot in the Big East tournament and put itself in position to clinch the Big East regular-season title Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 15 Loyola (Md.) at SU Soccer Stadium.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlyssa Murray continued her incredible season with 13 points in the two games, including a seven-goal performance Sunday. The attack now has 80 points this season, tying Christina Dove’s 80-point 2009 season for seventh on the Syracuse single-season scoring list.‘She’s got a killer instinct and always ready to go to net when the opportunity opens up,’ Gait said. ‘She took advantage of every shot she had today.’Despite the dominance, the Orange actually trailed early in both games this weekend. On Friday, Louisville attack Faye Brust opened the scoring with an unassisted goal about four minutes in.But from there, Alyssa Costantino was unbeatable.The SU goaltender played the entire first half against the Cardinals and held Louisville scoreless in the final 26:18 of the opening frame. The game was virtually over at halftime with Syracuse up 8-1.Her dominant play earned the sophomore the right to play the entire game against the Bearcats.‘We just wanted to give her an opportunity to play a full game today,’ Gait said. ‘… No particular reason (for the decision), she was just comfortable in there.’Like she was in the game against Lousiville, Costantino was beaten early. Cincinnati got on the board just 46 seconds into the game with a goal from Kylie Ramsland. But after trading goals for the next three minutes, Costantino settled in.She allowed just two goals in the game’s final 35:49, including just one-second half goal as SU cruised to its fifth straight victory by at least seven goals this season.‘They love the challenge,’ Gait said. ‘… It’s a chance to clinch the Big East regular season, and they’re extremely motivated to try and go out and win the Big East conference.’[email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on April 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2last_img read more