Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse wins ACC Tournament Opener over Virginia Tech
2nd-seeded Syracuse (13-2, 9-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference) commenced their 2021 ACC Tournament run with a 9-4 win over 7th-seeded Virginia Tech (5-11, 1-9 in Atlantic Coast Conference).
What was originally a 5 PM opening draw got pushed back to 6 PM thanks to a thrilling quarterfinal matchup between Duke and Notre Dame. The Irish squeaked by the Blue Devils 17-16, setting up a date with UNC on Friday. This pause hurt SU detrimental.
“We’ve been working on shorting up our warmups,” said head coach Gary Gait. “We tend to lose focus when we sit around. Next time, we will go to the game later, do our quick warmup, and we will be sharper for sure.”
After a brief pause, it took a while for the Orange to get rolling. Junior Meaghan Tyrrell scored her 49th goal of the season four minutes in, but that was the lone goal in the first ten minutes. VA Tech’s Paige Tyson tied the game up at 1.
Luckily for SU, their defense was on fire. In the first half, the Orange caused 12 turnovers and allowed Tyson’s marker to be the Hokies’ only goal. The solid defensive performance translated to great offense. Syracuse took a 5-1 lead entering the half.
Out of the break, SU ground their way towards victory. Sam Swart, Emma Tyrrell, and Meaghan Tyrrell continued their prolific scoring ways. Without Meg Carney and Emily Hawryschuk, the name of the game is “next woman up”. The Orange allowed two goals at the end of the game, but the Hokies’ late efforts weren’t enough.
It wasn’t the dominant scoring game we’ve seen from the Orange all season, but Syracuse controlled the entire game. All wins are wins, but after the game, SU didn’t celebrate as much as they normally do. The squad huddled around and had a long-winded postgame with the coaching staff.
“It was one of those games where our defense picked up,” Gary Gait mentioned in his opening statement. “Virginia Tech’s defense is the only defense that plays like that. They sat back, put one player on the ball, and made it tough for us to get in a rhythm.”
Although Syracuse’s offense wasn’t as hot as they normally are, Asa Goldstock was a brick wall. The All-ACC second-teamer made 5 saves on 9 shots (56% save percentage) and pioneered a SU defense that caused 24 turnovers. The best part about Goldstocks’s performance wasn’t on the turf, it was on her mask. The graduate wrote “22-11-51” on a strip of athletic tape, the numbers of Meg Carney, Vanessa Constantino, and Emily Hawryschuk who are out for the season due to injury.
Syracuse didn’t have an offensive-winning formula, but they stayed true to who they are: the family-like connection that’s propelled them to the top of the lacrosse world. SU will play either 6th-seeded Virginia or 3rd-seeded Boston College on Friday. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 PM in Chapel Hill.
Joe Puccio | @TheRealJoePooch | email@example.com