Syracuse gets sent home in disappointing fashion in 15-9 loss, as UNC moves on to the ACC Championship

Friday, Apr 28, 2023 at 7:17 pm by Sports Editor

Adam Avin | @_adamavin

CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

Down 8-0 to North Carolina with 9:12 remaining before halftime, Syracuse tallied its first score of the game. Even though there was more than a full half left to play, any chance of a comeback seemed too little, too late. The Orange fell 15-9, in their worst performance of the season.

Syracuse was doomed for trouble from the beginning, specifically on defense. The Orange got called for FIVE free position penalties in the first quarter, in which the Tar Heels converted on three. That was a trend that carried throughout the game; SU had 26 fouls called on them, while UNC had just 12… UNC had 10 free positions, while SU had ZERO.

Now… although they played a factor, calls were certainly not the reason ‘Cuse lost this game. Led by freshman attacker Carolina Godine, UNC ran away with this game and never looked back. Her career-high seven goals led both teams, including one in the third quarter which ended a four-goal Syracuse run and any hopes the Orange had of getting back in the game. 

SU goalie Delaney Sweitzer ended up with eight saves, but couldn’t get things going in the first half. Sweitzer, who was considered by many as the best goalie in the nation for 16 straight weeks, just had her third straight game with a save percentage of .370 or lower. Very unusual play for Sweitzer and the rest of the Syracuse defense today.

In the UNC crease, was goalie Alecia Nicholas. The sophomore goalkeeper had a terrific game against the top offense in the country. When these two teams met a few weeks ago, Nicholas only had five saves and was actually benched at a certain point. Today, she shut out Syracuse for almost the whole first half only allowing two goals, and finished the day with nine goals allowed and 11 saves.

Syracuse on offense, if you get the theme that’s happening here, struggled all game. The Orange out shot the Tar Heels 36-33, but barely got any to fall. Megan Tyrrell, Megan Carney, and Emma Ward – the team’s three leading offense players – went a combined 5/23 from the field. Ward got the ball on the very first possession of the game and just 20 seconds into the game, shot it, and hit the post, leading to the first of many UNC goals.

No. 3 UNC moves on to the ACC Championship game where they’ll face No. 1 Boston College on Sunday. UNC looks to capture its SEVENTH straight ACC title. Syracuse now heads home, with two weeks to prep for the NCAA tournament. If we know anything about this ‘Cuse team, Kayla Treanor and her squad will get to work right away.