Field hockey falls to No. 1 Syracuse in ACC semi-final

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Junior striker Calleigh Foust scored Virginia's first goal in Thursday's loss to No. 1 Syracuse.

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

The fourth-seeded Virginia field hockey team fell in overtime to No. 1 seed Syracuse (17-1, 6-0 ACC) Friday. The Cavaliers (14-5, 3-3 ACC) mounted an improbable comeback in the closing minutes of the game to send the game to overtime, but Syracuse junior forward Emma Russell buried a shot six minutes into the period to send the Orange to the ACC Championship.

The Orange opened the scoring when senior midfielder Alma Fenne used a reverse chip to beat Virginia junior goalkeeper Rebecca Holden on the left side. The tally marked the only goal of the half.

Virginia’s offense was unable to generate scoring opportunities early in the second half, and it soon found itself down two goals. Russell created space after receiving a pass near the penalty shot mark and put the ball away.

The Cavaliers finally broke through when junior striker Caleigh Foust beat Orange senior goalkeeper Jess Jecko with 25 minutes remaining in the game. Thirteen minutes later, junior striker Riley Tata scored on a breakaway to tie the score at 2-2. The Orange nearly ended the game in regulation when its attack forced Holden to make a diving stick save — one of an impressive seven saves on the day.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, Holden could not make an eighth on Russell’s hard one timer in overtime. The goal sent the Orange to the ACC title game for the second time in as many years. The result in the championship was different, though, with UNC handing the Orange its first conference loss of the season by a final score of 2-1 (OT).

Virginia earned an at-large bid and the third-overall seed for the NCAA tournament. It will host first and second round games and will face Delaware Saturday.

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