Syracuse Advances to ACC Tournament Semifinals
By Jaron May
CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — After 18 games, countless hours of practice, and thousands of miles traveled, it is postseason time for the Orange. The ACC Tournament kicked off on Wednesday in Chestnut Hill and 4th-seeded Syracuse (15-3, 5-2) came out hot, taking down 5th-seeded Virginia (12-6, 3-4) 12-10.
A game of two different halves made the matchup interesting down the stretch. It was all Orange in the beginning as SU built an 8-1 lead through most of the first frame.
Emily Hawryschuk spearheaded this quick start as the junior found the back of the net four times in the first half. Her fourth goal was special as she rose to 10th on the SU single-season goals list. Hawryschuk now has 61 goals on the year and is just 18 away from the top spot, currently held by Kayla Treanor.
Syracuse’s key to the first half was its dominance in the draw circle. Braelie Kempney got the nod in the first and took full advantage of her opportunities. SU outshone UVA in draw controls 9-3 in the first.
The Cavaliers then came out of the gate fast after falling behind 9-2 at halftime. Virginia poured in three goals in the first four minutes as Avery Shoemaker netted two of those three.
Syracuse answered back with a short-lived two goal run before the ‘Hoos got back on their horse.
The difference for the Cavaliers’ attack was the off-ball movement. The players cut through the Syracuse zone more and found the openings, leading to better passes and shots at point blank.
Virginia outscored Syracuse 8-3 in the second half, but to no avail. A strong first half sealed the win for SU on Wednesday, and possibly a top-four seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. A top-four seed means hosting the first three rounds and getting a first-round bye.
The Orange move on to the next round in the ACC Tournament. 4th-seeded Syracuse will face top-seeded Boston College on Friday at 5 p.m. Earlier this season, BC handed SU a 14-12 loss in the Carrier Dome.
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