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No. 14 women’s lacrosse falls below .500 after loss to No. 3 Syracuse

The Cavaliers suffered their third-straight loss in ACC play on the season

<p>Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Cavaliers were unable to keep pace with the offensive prowess of the Orange throughout the match-up.&nbsp;</p>

Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Cavaliers were unable to keep pace with the offensive prowess of the Orange throughout the match-up. 

Coming off a dominant win against Richmond, Virginia returned to conference play as they struggled against one of their ACC foes in Syracuse. The Cavaliers (4-5, 0-3 ACC) could not find a rhythm on offense, falling behind the Orange (6-1, 3-0 ACC) early, en route to a third straight loss in a tough ACC.

The game started out just the way Virginia would have hoped. Sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg netted the game’s first goal and the Cavalier defense was stellar for the first five minutes. Syracuse finally broke through to score two goals over 1:12 midway through the first quarter, but freshman midfielder Rachel Clark wasted no time finding the equalizer. 

While the Cavaliers looked to settle in early, it did not take long for Syracuse to find its way on offense. Graduate student midfielder Sam Swart responded with two quick goals as part of a 3-0 scoring run to put the Orange up 5-2 early. 

Fortunately for Virginia, the offense looked to be up to the task of matching the potent Orange flurry. Senior attack Ashley McGovern and junior midfielder Kiki Shaw scored one goal each, and Virginia suddenly closed the gap to one early in the second quarter.

In what looked to be a tight battle early, the Orange quickly flipped the script. Syracuse went on a 5-0 flurry over 5:10 in the second quarter to put them up six goals. Clark was able to stop the run, but Virginia went into the break down by five.

Needing a massive second half spark, the Cavaliers looked to find some answers on offense as well as on defense. Clark opened the second half with her 23rd goal of the season, giving Virginia a glimmer of hope. However, the Orange did just enough to keep their momentum going. They responded with two goals of their own to essentially build an insurmountable lead of six. 

The Cavaliers continued to battle, however, closing the third quarter on a 3-1 run, led by two goals from McGovern. Nonetheless, the lead built by the Orange was simply too much to overcome as Virginia continued to trail by four with 15 minutes to play.

Syracuse put the game on ice when they opened the final frame with two consecutive goals, extending the lead back to six. The two squads exchanged two goals apiece for the remainder of the quarter, and the Orange walked away with a 17-11 win.

Virginia will look to get back on track and generate momentum going into another ACC match-up against a Pittsburgh team. The Cavaliers will take on the Panthers on Friday at Klöckner stadium with the start scheduled for 5 p.m.