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No. 7 women’s lacrosse falls to No. 3 Syracuse, 12-15

Crucial second half miscues hold Virginia back in defeat

<p>Virginia junior attacker Lillie Kloak scored a first-half goal to help the Cavaliers build an early lead.</p>

Virginia junior attacker Lillie Kloak scored a first-half goal to help the Cavaliers build an early lead.

In its second consecutive top-10 ACC showdown, No. 7 Virginia took on No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday, looking to avoid back-to-back losses. The Cavaliers (8-4, 3-4 ACC) came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, but a strong second half surge propelled the Orange (8-1, 5-1 ACC) to a 12-15 victory. After falling in a close game to Notre Dame last week, this game marks the first pair of consecutive losses for Virginia this season. 

As they have been doing all season, the Cavaliers started hot and jumped out to an early lead. Junior midfielder Annie Dyson opened the scoring for the Cavaliers, finding the back of the net just 1:09 into the game.

Freshman attacker Emma Ward tied it up at one just 48 seconds later for Syracuse, before Virginia’s scoring duo of junior attackers Lillie Kloak and Ashlyn McGovern put up two back-to-back goals to extend the lead to two.

After an opening flurry of goals, the two offenses cooled off, with Syracuse executing a 2-1 scoring run over the next 7:33 of play to cut the Virginia lead back to one.

After another 6:16 of scoreless play, Virginia regained its offensive form behind a goal from McGovern. Freshman midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg, who went scoreless against the Fighting Irish, and Dyson followed with goals of their own to open the lead up to four. 

Syracuse managed to cut the lead down to three in the closing minute of the first half behind a goal from junior attacker Megan Carney, her 29th of the season. 

After a fast start to the game, both defenses managed to adjust to the tempo and hold the offenses in check. Despite being outshot 17-13 by the Orange, the Cavaliers were able to convert their chances and went into halftime with a 7-4 lead. 

Senior midfielder Sam Swart opened the scoring in the second half, hoping to sustain the momentum built at the end of the first half for Syracuse. However, Dyson and Hoeg converted their third and second goals of the game, respectively, to get the Cavaliers back in rhythm and extend the lead back to four with 18:26 remaining in the second half.   

Although the game seemed to be in Virginia’s control, the opposite was true. The Cavalier offense went stale, and the Orange took full advantage.

Syracuse rattled off three straight goals over 49 seconds behind Carney and junior attacker Meaghan Tyrrell, who scored the latter two. 

After a 4:58 scoring drought for both teams, the Cavaliers managed to extend the lead back to two with McGovern and senior midfielder Chloe Jones exchanging goals with Carney.

The two-goal advantage was not enough to hold the Syracuse offense in check. The Orange went on to score six unanswered goals over 4:30 to open up a four-goal lead and put the game away for good. Virginia managed to score a garbage-time goal to make the final score 15-12.

It was a tale of two halves for the Cavaliers against Syracuse. After outscoring the Orange 7-4 in the first half, Syracuse went on an 11-5 run in the second half behind an enormous 24-7 shot advantage. 

The road in the ACC does not get any easier for Virginia. The Cavaliers will play their third consecutive game against a top-10 ACC opponent, this time against No.1 North Carolina in a double header on the road.

The Cavaliers will play the Tar Heels on April 16 at 5 p.m. The broadcast is TBD.

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