Syracuse fails to complete comeback against UNC in ACC Tournamnent
By Christian De Guzman
DURHAM, N.C. — For 26 seconds, Syracuse lacrosse fans had hope.
That hope was erased as the Orange failed to score the game-tying goal and force overtime against North Carolina at Koskinen Stadium on Friday night. With the final whistle, Syracuse lost its second one-goal game of the season by a score of 16-15, knocking the Orange out of the ACC Tournament in the semifinals for the first time in program history.
The game did not start out well for the SU, as Ben Williams and the defense failed to stop Stephen Kelly and a relentless UNC attack. Williams was held to one faceoff win until the 5:57 mark of the second quarter, as the Tar Heels used the counter attack and transition offense to create a massive 13-4 lead at halftime.
That is when the Orange’s fortune started to change. Williams began to win more faceoffs, and as such, the Orange offense built momentum throughout the third quarter. For those 15 minutes, the defense kept UNC out of the score column as the offense scored 8 unanswered goals to cut the deficit to 13-12 at the start of the fourth quarter.
But SU’s luck would eventually run out, as Luke Goldstock and Chris Cloutier reignited the dormant UNC offense. A man-up goal by Goldstock would give UNC a 16-13 lead with 5:21 left in the fourth. The Tar Heel defense barely survived the Orange onslaught to advance to the ACC Championship Game.
After starting the game extremely poorly, Ben Williams was able to regain his touch at the X and finished the game 16-31. Evan Molloy struggled in net as well for the Orange, as the redshirt senior only saved 7 of the 23 UNC shots on target.
The seniors of the offense took over to lead the comeback charge for the ‘Cuse. Jordan Evans tallied 6 assists, a career high, while Nick Mariano and Sergio Salcido recorded hat tricks in the loss. Up next for the Orange is its regular season finale at Colgate before the NCAA Tournament. That game is on Saturday, May 6th at noon.