Syracuse Upsets the Defending National Champions North Carolina
By Matt Wieselthier
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Youth will be served.
For Syracuse, it was the youth that was able to push the Orange over the top and defeat the defending national champions North Carolina 13-11.
Head coach Gary Gait said he has noticed how important it’s been for the young players to step up.
“You know, it means, we’re young! It is a youth movement,” said Gait, who has led Syracuse to being tied for first in the ACC. “We’re just a young team and we look at our midfield, we got no returning starters from the end of the year. We got kids that have limited experience and they stepped up and they made plays today.”
It certainly was all about the freshmen. It was freshman Emily Hawryschuk who provided four goals to lead the Orange to victory.
It was also freshman Morgan Widner’s ability to control the draw circle that provided an early spark for the Orange.
“Morgan’s a very good draw player, she’s number three in the country in draws per game, and I think she just stepped up,” said Gait, who jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, in large part thanks to Widner winning three of the first four draws of the game. “She takes pride in the draw and I think she did a great job today. She cleans it up a little more and she’ll really help us in the run in the end here.”
The other freshman to really step up was the one in cage.
One week after being pulled from the game against Virginia Tech, goalie Asa Goldstock stepped up in front of net.
“I just thought she stepped up and played well,” said Gait, who watched Goldstock make 11 saves on the day. “She stayed focused the entire game, limited her turnovers. Made big saves when we needed them. That’s a top offense in the country and our defense played well and they gave us opportunities, and Asa stepped up and made the saves that she should of and she made a few that were tough ones, some big time saves.”
The biggest part of this victory was doing it without Nicole Levy. The sophomore star did not dress for this game after suffering a lower body injury last week.
But the Orange knows that other players can step up to help get the win.
And, that this youth movement will be dangerous for years to come.
Syracuse travels back to the Carrier Dome for its last home game of the season on Tuesday when it takes on Cornell.