Syracuse Falls to North Carolina in Overtime Battle of ACC Semifinals
By Tara Arya
CitrusTV’s Field Hockey Beat Reporter
Syracuse took on the reigning champions, North Carolina, in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals and what a game it was. The Tar Heels got on the board first and it would have to be another comeback game for the Orange.
It took 30 minutes, but in the third quarter, star freshman Eefke van den Niewenhof scored off an assist by SJ Quigley and Claire Cooke. On her birthday, van den Niewenhof tied the game and got the offense going.
From here on out, it would be a shootout, with both teams running from one side of the field to another. In the fourth quarter, North Carolina landed two goals in two minutes and Syracuse had ten minutes remaining to save their season.
In the 51st minute, Carly Bothof got one past North Carolina goalie Amanda Hendry to cut the deficit to one with nine minutes left in regulation. In the final minute of the game, Syracuse rushed to tie things up and Orange midfielder Hailey Bitters tipped it in to send the game into overtime with the score tied at three.
Entering overtime, Syracuse held the momentum of the game and the pressure was on No. 2 North Carolina to win it at home. After 64 minutes of play, the Tar Heels were awarded a penalty stroke which would ultimately be converted to a game-winning goal.
The Orange finished the game actually outshooting the best offensive team in the ACC by one, 17-16. The women took the two-time reigning champs down to the wire and finished their season in the top four of the ACC Tournament.
This will conclude their field hockey season. As of now, the Division I Council of the NCAA has approved moving the fall sports season to the spring and we’ll have to see how and if that plays out.
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