AUBURN — The Maroons' nine-goal run gave Auburn a commanding lead.
The Maroons added the first seven goals in the second half to a 10-2 halftime lead, as the Auburn girls lacrosse team routed Syracuse 17-4 at Holland Stadium Thursday evening.
"It was sloppy at first — a bit of an ugly game — but you've got to pull out those ugly wins, whether it's once or twice a season," Maroons coach Bill Dean said. "I'm just glad we pulled out the win. It wasn't a pretty win. They called their timeout (eight minutes into the game), which I was grateful since it saved me from calling one, and I told them 'You've got to relax.' A lot of it is Senior Night, and the festivities and being out of your regular routine. ... A little kink in that routine hurt us."
Known for her prowess on the draw, Jillian Alberici had a career day on the stat sheet. The junior recorded a team-high six goals for the Maroons.
"Jillian works extremely hard. She's a great player, knows the game and has great skills," Dean said. "If you know lacrosse and you watch us, you know she's an asset to the team. If you're just reading the stats and the box score, you might not get that. I'm glad she got those six goals to get some spotlight on her, which she deserves, but also it helped our team pull away and get this win.
"That's the great thing about these girls. It's always the next person up. We have a deep bench, with a lot of girls that can score and do a lot of great things out there on the field. When maybe some have a lull, it's nice to have others that can step in and fill that role."
Gabby McGinn added two goals and four assists, Caroline Netti chipped in four goals and two assists, and Abbey Hai, Carrissa Hlywa, Natalie Calandra-Ryan and Abbie Izzo each chipped in a goal and an assist. Ella Bouley had one goal.
Lexy Driscoll and Quinn Brady each had a pair of saves for the Maroons.
For Dean, it was a positive to have Hai back in the lineup. The senior has missed most of the season with a foot injury.
"It's great to have her back," Dean said. "With her out the entire year until Monday when she got released ... Having her back is great. She brings a lot of enthusiasm and works extremely hard. She's always engaged in practice, even when she had the injury, so to see her be able to come out on Senior Night and get a goal and an assist with limited minutes was great."
Alberici won the opening faceoff and scored 21 seconds in. Syracuse scored the next goal less than four minutes later, but the Maroons rattled off the next nine goals and led 10-2 at the break.
Alberici netted two goals off free position shots less than four minutes into the second half to get the clock running. Alberici, Izzo and Hai each added insurance markers to keep the Maroons rolling, and despite a couple Syracuse goals in the final 5:30, Auburn cruised to victory.
Auburn finishes off the regular season against Cortland Tuesday. With only four Class B teams in Section III, how many teams make the postseason is still up in the air.
The Maroons could see a significant layoff if it's just them and Fayetteville-Manlius.
"That's why I'm hoping Central Square can get in and we'll play them, and maybe (Fayetteville-Manlius) will get the bye for the No. 1 seed," Dean said. "Then hopefully we'll play them the day after Memorial Day."