Syracuse Falters in Fourth Quarter at ACC Quarterfinals vs. Virginia, 3-2

Wednesday, Nov 01, 2023 at 10:40 am by Sports Editor

By Max Gifford | @GiffMD

On the Cavaliers’ home turf, 5th-seeded Syracuse field hockey allowed three unanswered goals to 4th-seeded Virginia, falling 3-2 in the ACC Quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon. For the Orange, the wheels simply fell off in the final frame, allowing UVA to score the tying and go-ahead scores in just 48 seconds.

SU came in with a chip on its shoulder after falling 3-2 in double overtime earlier this season to the Hoos and had a fire lit within them out of the gate. If the ‘Cuse wanted any chance to advance to the Semifinals, they needed to get on the board early and convert on gifted opportunities; They did both of those in the first half.

Just 99 seconds into the contest, Willemijn Boogert made a head-first slide towards the net extending for a pass from Pieke van de Pas, and scored possibly the goal of the year to draw first blood for the Orange.

Up one in the second quarter, the next 15 saw Eefke van den Nieuwenhof do what she does best. SU got a late attacking penalty corner chase where the newly named ACC Defensive Player of the Year was T’d up for a rocket of a shot past the UVA netminder Tyler Kennedy.

Out of the halftime break with the ‘Cuse up two scores, the third quarter was rather quiet. Virginia had three shots with only one of those on goal, which Syracuse goalkeeper Abby Neitch had no problems with keeping out. The Cavaliers had a majority of the possession out of the half, and that would ultimately be a microcosm of things to come.

In the final frame, UVA wasted no time cutting the deficit less than 30 seconds into fourth quarter action. An early corner opportunity put the ball on Noa Boterman’s stick, where she punched the ball home.

Fast forward to the 53rd minute, SU still with the edge, everything that could’ve gone wrong, went wrong. Midfielder Bo Madden picked up a yellow card, which put the ‘Cuse down a player for five minutes. As a result, the Hoos would pull Tyler Kennedy out of goal, and now with an empty net, Virginia was up two players.

Keeping good defensive coverage, Eefke van den Nieuwenhof committed a late obstruction foul which gave Virginia an APC chance. What followed was the wildest deflection by Laura Janssen from Jans Croon off the corner to knot the contest at 2. Just 50 seconds later, the Cavaliers got another penalty corner and took its first lead of the contest with a beautifully drawn-up play where Boterman scored her second and what would go on to the game-winning goal.

With under two minutes to play in the game Syracuse pulled Abby Neitch to put the extra player on, but after collecting no shots in the entire second half, nothing changed in that 110-second span for the Orange.

The win for UVA marked its 11th straight over SU going all the way back to 2015. It moves the 4th-seeded Hoos onto the ACC Semifinals to play the top-seed and reigning national champions in North Carolina.

As for the ‘Cuse, only time will tell. Syracuse’s fate is in the hands of the NCAA Selection Committee. The Orange have a chance to clinch an at-large berth for the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament. The Selection Show is set for 10 p.m.