SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The Syracuse women hosted North Carolina at the Carrier Dome on Saturday in an ACC top two matchup. In a game of runs, the Tar Heels made them count, outlasting the Orange 12-11. After the Heels began stalling late in the second half, up by one, it nearly sealed the deal for the UNC win. With 36 seconds left and a glimmer of hope for the Orange, the Tar Heels turned the ball over on the Syracuse end line. The Orange would have 36 to clear the ball and score a goal to tie the game at 12. The clear got to about midfield before the Orange turned it back over with 19 seconds left. That would be the ball game.
“Two very good teams going head to head and it’s a game of runs,” Syracuse Coach Gary Gait said. “They got that last run and got up on us.”
Syracuse went into halftime up by one goal supported by a powerful 6-1 run. The Tar Heels made the second have theirs, winning the half 5-3 and ultimately putting them past the Orange. North Carolina’s scoring was led by senior Sammy Jo Tracy with three goals and one assist. Carly Reed also added a hat trick for the Tar Heels. Sophomore Ela Hazar had six points on two goals and four assists.
“You keep giving a good team like that the ball, they’re going to score on you,” Gait said.
Syracuse scoring was led by Riley Donahue who also had six points, finishing with four goals and two assists. Kayla Treanor added two goals and two assists while Halle Majorana and Kelly Cross each added two goals. Syracuse lost today at the draw circle as well, only grabbing 12 of 25 draws.
North Carolina played two goalies today, each seeing a half of the action. Caylee Waters started in goal for the Tar Heels, saving only two of ten shots on goal. Megan Ward stepped in for her at the half and saved seven of ten shots on goal, a huge difference maker for the Heels. Ward is credited with today’s win.
“She [Ward] played great. Seven saves in the second half to really turn the game around for them,” Gait said. “She got in our shooters heads a little bit.”
Syracuse’s Allie Murray started in goal for the Orange and played the full 60 minutes. Murray made six saves on 18 shots on goal. Syracuse tallied 31 fouls and three yellow cards against the Tar Heels. Carolina was one for three on free positions and Syracuse scored one of four free positions.
With the win, North Carolina improves to 12-2 and still leads the ACC at 6-0 in conference play. Syracuse drops to 12-4 and 4-2 in the ACC.