Murray hopes to help capture Syracuse’s 1st-ever women’s NCAA championship in her senior year

first_img Published on May 8, 2014 at 1:15 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 When Alyssa Murray was in seventh grade she went to the women’s lacrosse NCAA national championship. She watched as Northwestern rushed the field, hugging each other after capturing the trophy over Virginia.It was a moment that spurred an obsession for Murray.She started to idolize the nation’s top players. She studied and copied them. And most importantly, she wanted to win a national championship.“Watching them play on that stage,” Murray said, “it was definitely like, ‘I want to be there one day.’”Now a senior at Syracuse, Murray is in many ways like the player she dreamed of becoming. She’s scored 51 goals this year and is fourth in Syracuse history with 193. She’s a former Big East Attack Player of the Year, and a team captain and Tewaaraton Award finalist for the No. 2 team in the country.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThere’s only one thing missing from her resume, and her last quest for Syracuse’s first-ever national championship in any women’s sport begins at SU Soccer Stadium on Sunday.The women’s lacrosse team has come close. A national championship loss in 2012 was followed up with a semifinals loss last year.But now it’s Murray’s last chance.“It’s more just urgent,” Murray said. “You’ve got to do it now. You’ve got to put the extra work in now if you want to see it pay off down the road. There’s only a month left.”Murray has gradually changed her offensive mentality to help the team, illustrated by her decreased scoring numbers. Two seasons ago, she was the nation’s leading scorer. Last year, she was the Orange’s leading scorer.But as sophomore attack Kayla Treanor has developed into possibly the nation’s most prolific offensive player this season, Murray has looked to feed more often and currently leads the team with 37 assists.“I think she’s helped to change the culture of the program,” Treanor said. “She makes everyone here better. Playing next to her, I think it’s really helped me and improved my game.”Even as she’s altered her offensive approach, Murray has not lost the capability to step up when needed.With Syracuse down three goals with under five minutes to play against No. 11 Loyola on Saturday, Murray twice found the back of the net to give Syracuse hope in the waning moments.And now the Orange may need that from Murray more than ever as the postseason begins and opposing defenses hone in on Treanor.“Since she showed up on campus, she wanted to be the best,” SU head coach Gary Gait said . “She worked at it every day.“We’re hoping we can get it done this year.”Since there’s no professional women’s lacrosse league, this is Murray’s last chance to compete in the sport she loves.She said she plans on entering the coaching ranks after this season ends, but isn’t looking past the goal of capturing that elusive national championship.“I don’t have a lot of time left here,” Murray said. “And no matter where my lacrosse career takes me past college, it’s nothing like a national championship.”It’s a goal that’s been on Murray’s mind since she was just a little girl, and she’s been on the cusp of accomplishing it twice before.Now there are just four wins between Murray defining a career and Syracuse defining a program.“You watch other people raise the trophy up and it’s not you and it’s not a good feeling,” Murray said. “I think that’s the motivation. You want to be the one in the center of the field hugging your teammates with smiles instead of tears.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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