#8 UVA women’s lacrosse comes up short in Final Four rematch with #3 Syracuse
The No. 8 UVA women’s lacrosse team (1-2, 0-1 ACC) came up a goal short against No. 3 Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC), falling 14-13 on Monday (Feb. 23) at the Carrier Dome in a rematch of last season’s NCAA Semifinal game.
“I thought it was a really exciting game from start to finish,” said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. “It was streaky scoring on both sides, but I thought it was a really hard-fought, well-played game that was a heartbreaking loss for us. I am proud of the girls for their fight and for how well they executed some things this early in the season. We were awarded a lot of 8-meters, which is really what bailed us out and kept us in the game. We really wanted to try to swing the ball and hit the open middle when it was there. They slipped pretty quickly to Kelly Boyd when she was in the middle, but she was still able to score four goals in there.”
Junior Kelly Boyd (Baltimore, Md.) contributed a career-high six points, scoring four goals with a pair of assists. Seniors Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) and Casey Bocklet (South Salem, N.Y.) also both scored hat tricks with Bocklet adding a pair of assists. Syracuse’s Kayla Treanor scored five goals with two assists.
Freshman goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) made a season-high 10 saves. Syracuse’s Kelsey Richardson also made 10 stops.
Syracuse held a 20-9 advantage in draw controls with Kailah Kempney winning 12. Virginia took the first five shots of the game, taking a 2-0 lead on a pair of Boyd goals, before the Syracuse offense ignited. The Orange outshot Virginia 14-4 in the remainder of the half and took an 8-5 lead into halftime. Boyd attempted to start the Cavalier comeback bid 20 seconds into the second half, scoring on a free position shot, but Syracuse answered a minute later to retake a three-goal lead. Bocklet and Boyd combined for a pair of goals, with Boyd setting up Bocklet on the first and the reverse of that combination on the second, to pull to within a goal with 21:57 remaining.
Senior Daniela Eppler (Baltimore, Md.) knotted the game at nine apiece on a free position shot with 20:46 remaining. After Syracuse retook a one-goal lead, Blue scored on a feed from senior Courtney Swan (Vero Beach, Fla.) to retie the game, 10-10, with 14:30 remaining. Syracuse outscored Virginia, 4-1, in the next ten minutes with Treanor netting three of the scores for the Orange. Trailing 14-11 with five minutes left in the game, Virginia mounted another comeback bid. Swan first set up freshman Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) for a goal with 4:31 remaining before feeding Bocklet on a man-up goal with 2:05 to make it a 14-13 game.
Syracuse won the ensuing draw control and attempted to run out the clock but junior Sarah Gillespie (Mendham, N.J.) caused a turnover, also picking up a ground ball to give Virginia possession but the Cavaliers turned the ball back over on the clear attempt. The Orange then successfully maintained possession and earned the victory in the conference opener for both teams.
Syracuse held a 30-24 advantage in shots. Virginia was 3-of-8 on free position shots while Syracuse missed its only attempt.
After combining for 16 turnovers in the first half, the two teams had five in the second period with Virginia committing two and Syracuse three.
Last season, Syracuse defeated Virginia 16-8 in the NCAA Semifinals, ending the Cavaliers’ season. The Orange have now won six-straight matchups between the two teams.
Virginia travels to No. 10 Penn State, playing Saturday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. before returning to Charlottesville for the home opener against Harvard on Tuesday, March 3 at 4 p.m.
Single-game reserved seats are available for all women’s home games for $7. Single-game general admission adult tickets for women’s home games are $5, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVa faculty and staff tickets are $4 each.