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Saturday, Sep 23, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Field Hockey Falls to UNC 3-2 in OT Thriller

By Jonah Karp

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — On an 86 degree Saturday afternoon in Syracuse, New York, the No. 6 Syracuse Orange played host to the No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels. This was the third ACC matchup of the season for the Orange, coming into the day with one win (Boston College) and one loss (Wake Forest) in conference play.

The first half was not smooth sailing for the Orange. SU managed just one shot in the first, while not finding the back of the net in that entire 35-minute period.

While the Tar Heels’ offense did not score during the 35 minutes either, an unusual rule led to a score at the break. UNC was awarded a penalty corner shot as time expired in the first, and the offense was allowed to fully play out the shot after time expired. Gab Major took advantage of that opportunity, off the assist by Ashley Hoffman, to put North Carolina on top 1-0 heading into the locker room.

After halftime, the Orange offense was fired up, firing shots toward the net. SU took twelve shots on goal in the second period, but it still played catchup for the first time this season.

Eva van’t Hoog hit a shot from the low left circle, off a Feline Guenther feed to put UNC up 2-0 with less than 20 minutes to play in the game.

Syracuse was relentless and resilient. Less than two minutes later, Elaine Carey found the back of the net for the sixth time this season to cut the deficit to one.

The score remained 2-1 with less than a minute to go in the game. The ball was in UNC territory, but the Tar Heels had control. Then, the Orange got exactly what the doctor had ordered: a penalty corner with 13 seconds left.

Syracuse could tie the game with one shot. The Orange let the clock run out before attempting the shot. After failing to convert twice, Lies Lagerweij put it in to push the game to an overtime period.

Lagerweij was unavailable to speak following the loss, reportedly being treated in the locker room.

Syracuse was not, however, able to carry any momentum into the extra time. Just 1:26 into the first overtime period, Eva van’t Hoog scored to stun the Orange crowd and complete the upset for the Tar Heels.

Erin Gillingham was disappointed that the team wasn’t able to transform her game-tying goal into an overtime victory.

“We didn’t really come out with that energy or hype,” she stated.

The senior midfielder was also issued a series of penalty corners due to her physicality during the game.

“I don’t even know what to say,” she added, in response to the whistle being blown so often.

In total, five green cards were handed out and two yellow cards. Six of the seven penalty cards were issued to Syracuse with Gillingham tallying two greens and a yellow. Laura Hurff and Lies Lajerweij were also tacked for green cards, while the other yellow card was handed to Florine Hogendoorn.

Head coach Ange Bradley could not be reached for a comment following the game. Bradley was reportedly tending to team matters.

With the loss, the Orange drops to 8-2 on the season, while the Tar Heels improve to 7-2 with the win. Syracuse heads back on the road, having dropped two of its last three games, to face ACC foe Louisville. That game is scheduled for Friday, September 29 at 3:30 p.m.