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Syracuse comes up short against Boston College, again, falls 8-7 in National Semifinals

Syracuse's Olivia Adamson (white) dodges through two Boston College defenders.
Syracuse's Olivia Adamson (white) dodges through two Boston College defenders.

Cary, NC – The Bulls against the Pistons, the Red Sox against the Yankees, and Syracuse women’s lacrosse against Boston College. The Bulls and Red Sox eventually got over the hump against their rivals, but the Orange are not at that point yet and as the Eagles advance to their sixth consecutive title game, SU is headed home, without that elusive first national championship.

When Belle Smith forced a turnover against Olivia Adamson with under a minute to go, Boston College’s victory was sealed, as was Syracuse’s fate. The Orange offense was stymied for the entire fourth quarter, as the Eagles outscored them 3-0 in the final 15 minutes.

“We kind of just had a great game plan and we stuck to the game plan, and we executed and did exactly what we had to do,” Shea Dolce, Boston College’s freshman goaltender, said.

Syracuse’s seven goals were the Orange’s fewest scored in a game all season. SU scored three in the opening four minutes and 50 seconds, including two by Emma Ward, but just four goals in the final 55 minutes and 10 seconds. Syracuse took 11 more shots than Boston College and had three more shots on goal, but couldn’t execute.

“We were able to get in and get good opportunities,” SU head coach Kayla Treanor said. “We just ultimately didn’t finish the plays when we needed to.”

Another key denominator throughout the contest was the foul disparity between the two teams. Boston College was awarded seven free-position shots and converted three of them, while Syracuse scored on its only attempt.

“They only got called for two fouls in the second half, and none in the third quarter,” Treanor said after the game. “Seems lopsided to me.”

The Orange did force the Eagles to turn the ball over 20 times but failed to clear the ball on three opportunities, while BC was 15-15 on the clear. Boston College looked like the more poised team, the one with championship experience, and the one whose nerves didn’t affect them down the stretch.

“They are smart enough to know that the game’s not over until it’s over,” Eagles coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said.

Trailing 7-5 entering the fourth quarter, Walker-Weinstein’s team knew it was not over, and played flawless defense and just enough on offense to get the win, sending the Orange back to Syracuse empty-handed.

“I think that’s just the hardest part is the players that don’t get another chance at this, and poured their heart into it,” Treanor said. “So it’s obviously really upsetting in the locker room because it was a group of players that really believed that we were going to win. Just a difficult moment, but again, they should be incredibly proud of themselves.”