Syracuse women's lacrosse survives an ACC Tournament scare
The Syracuse Orange (16-1, 8-1 Atlantic Coastal Conference) survive and keep moving forward after a gutty playoff win against Virginia Tech (10-9, 3-6 ACC), 14-12. The Hokies started off like they had something to prove, holding the Orange to only two goals in the first period while playing frenetic defense.
Midfielder Blair Guy let the Orange know that it was going to be a long game with three goals in the first half of the game kept the Hokies in it. Virginia Tech was able to catch Syracuse out of position as well, leading to seven free positions for VT versus the Orange’s two. Virginia Tech took advantage, converting on five out of their seven opportunities in the game.
Meaghan Tyrrell was bottled up for much of the game, and Virginia Tech made it a point to be physical at the point of attack with her. Because of this, the Orange needed offense, and Sierra Cockerille provided that with a career-high three goals in the game. Her offensive outpour led to Tyrrell eventually finding her groove late in the game and putting in two game-clinching goals.
Emma Ward also took on a different role, the usually pass dominant attacker decided to take matters into her own hands and put up three big-time goals. The highlight of her day came from an unassisted score to break the 5-5 tie with only 16 seconds left in the first half. Much of the Orange’s success came from their non-attackers, seven of their goals came from their midfield. Olivia Adamson had another great game from the control circle capturing 11 draw controls, both teams went back and forth in the control circle.
This was critical for both squads in the game, especially for Syracuse as their usually reliable defense struggled to put away the Hokies. Goalie Delaney Sweitzer was caught off guard by Virginia's attack, posting her third-lowest save percentage this year at just under 37%. Much of her struggles can be attributed to a slow start, the Syracuse goalkeeper ended up making some major saves down the stretch of the game that sealed the victory.
Syracuse will move on to the semi-finals in the ACC Tournament and will take on rival North Carolina. This will be the second time the Orange will see the Tar Heels in two weeks, Syracuse won the first matchup 14-12 in a barn-burner that came down to the last five minutes. First draw is at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.