North Carolina Thrashes Syracuse in ACC Tournament
By Nicole Weaving
Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
In its nine-goal win over the Orange on April 14, No. 5 North Carolina outscored No. 19 Syracuse 12-6 in the second half. SU head coach Gary Gait reflected on his team’s abysmal performance after the game.
“I thought we were focused and I thought we just came out flat,” Gait said. “We didn’t show up today. We didn’t deliver our best game and our best performance.”
Gait may be able to use the same words to describe the Orange’s play today. This time, UNC outpaced SU 14-6 in the first half as North Carolina (13-3, 1-7 Atlantic Conference) demolished Syracuse (9-9, 1-7 Atlantic Conference) 21-12 at Koskinen Stadium in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
Jamie Ortega was the star for North Carolina as she scored a career-high six goals while setting a new record with eight shots on goal.
She netted the first two goals for UNC in the first two minutes of play. Ortega got the ball in her stick in an isolation-situation after Syracuse failed to clear in its first possession. She threw in a spin move and a split dodge that gave her space to score her first goal. Her defender, Mia DiBella, couldn’t break down her steps and failed to crash. 40 seconds later, Ortega got a step on DiBello while curling through the center of the 8-meter fan. Katie Hoeg threaded the needle and Ortega quick-sticked it past SU goalie Asa Goldstock.
North Carolina eventually went up by nine with 14:07 left on the clock. Syracuse’s defense got beat the same way they did almost two weeks ago: its defense was incohesive and slow to stop the Tar Heels.
Kara Klages had another five-goal performance against Orange. Ten of the junior’s goals this season have come at the hands of Syracuse in their two matchups.
Even Ela Hazar, who is the team’s main facilitator, scored three goals as well as earning four assists. She came into this game ranked 13th in the nation, averaging 2.4 assists per game.
Asa Goldstock only played for 6:07 in this game, letting in six goals without making a save. Hannah Van Middelem made up some ground as she stopped a career-high nine shots in the first half.
The second half became irrelevant as any time Syracuse scored a goal, North Carolina would counter with two of its own.
Syracuse now sits at an even 9-9, waiting to see if it will make the cut for the NCAA Tournament in May.
@nicki_weaves | email@example.com