Women’s lacrosse: Virginia falls 15-12 to Syracuse in ACC Semifinal

The third-seeded Virginia women’s lacrosse team (11-8) fell 15-12 to second-seed Syracuse (15-5) on Friday night in the 2017 ACC Championship Semifinals at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Va.

uva lacrosseThe Cavaliers had an early 3-0 lead, but Syracuse scored five consecutive goals to take a 5-3 lead. UVA tied it up, but back-to-back goals by Syracuse sent UVA into halftime down 7-5. The Orange extended its lead with the first two goals in the second half. The teams then traded goals over the next 10 minutes as Syracuse held a 14-9 lead. UVA scored two-straight to cut it to 14-11 with 4:49 to play. After another goal by the Orange, the Cavaliers scored with 1:27 to cut tit to 15-12 but could not get any closer as Syracuse held on.

“That was a tough game to lose,” head coach Julie Myers said. “I feel like we competed pretty consistently throughout. We had a couple of lapses where we just took our eye off the slide and off the ball a little bit, but all in all we played a pretty solid game for about 53 minutes. Good teams like Syracuse are able to capitalize when we did lose our focus a little bit. I love our battle and I love our resiliency. There was a moment we could have broken, but we bent and came right back to score a couple of goals. This is a game I wish we could replay again, but proud of our girls for their effort.”

Sophomores Avery Shoemaker (Wyndmoor, Pa.) and Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) each recorded hat tricks for the Cavaliers. Jackson also added two assists to lead the team with five points.

Defensively, senior Maggie Preas (Rockville, Md.) and freshman Sammy Mueller (Pelham, N.Y.) had three caused turnovers and three ground balls each.

Virginia took a 3-0 lead early over Syracuse. Junior Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) continued her strong play from last night’s game with the opening goal to put the Cavaliers in front 1-0. Just a minute later, Mueller scored after senior Besser Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) found her in the middle of the eight-meter. UVA extended its lead to 3-0 when a turnover caused by Behr led to a goal for Shoemaker at the 23:56 mark.

Syracuse responded with a 5-0 run over the next 12 minutes to take a 5-3 lead with 11:53 to go in the first half. The Cavaliers cut the Orange lead to one when Shoemaker connected on her second of the night. Jackson tied the game after converting a free position with 6:19 left in the first. Syracuse scored two goals to take a 7-5 lead into halftime.

The Orange extended its lead to 9-5 after scoring the first two goals of the second period. Virginia was on the board at the 18:44mark when Shoemaker completed her hat trick to make it 9-6. Syracuse responded quickly with a free position goal to lead 10-6 with 17:52 to play.

Virginia cut it back to three, 10-7, when Jackson found Dyson cutting through the middle for a goal. After back-to-back goals, Syracuse took its largest lead of the game, 12-7, with 14:38 remaining. Jackson ripped a shot into the net on the assist from senior Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.) as UVA cut it to 12-8 with 9:35 to play. The Cavaliers made it two-straight when Jackson found Dyson for the second time to cut it to 12-9. Syracuse scored two-straight to go up 14-9 with 6:23 left.

UVA kept it close with two-straight goals. Junior Lilly DiNardo (Salisbury, Md.) scored with the assist from Shoemaker and then Reese found the net to make it 14-11 Syracuse with 4:29 to play. The Orange halted the Cavaliers’ run once again, with a free position goal at 1:39 to lead 15-11. Shoemaker picked up the draw and Jackson nailed a quick shot as Virginia cut it back to three, 15-12, with 1:27 left. Syracuse won the final draw to hold on for the win.

Virginia led with 16 draw controls to 13, while Syracuse had the advantage in shots (29-28), ground balls (18-16) and saves (6-5). The Orange finished 6-of-8 from the eight-meter, while UVA was 1-of-3.

The 2017 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse selection show will air on Sunday, May 7 at 9 p.m. ET on NCAA.com.



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