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No. 9 women’s lacrosse falls short at home against No. 7 Syracuse

In a game that featured nine ties and three lead changes, Virginia failed to close the game in the fourth quarter

<p>Junior attacker Kate Miller dished out four assists Saturday in the Cavaliers' defeat to the Orange.&nbsp;</p>

Junior attacker Kate Miller dished out four assists Saturday in the Cavaliers' defeat to the Orange. 

Virginia women’s lacrosse had their six-game winning streak snapped by Syracuse at Klöckner Stadium Saturday. In a contest that pitted two evenly-matched teams and came down to the wire, the No. 9 Cavaliers (9-2, 3-2 ACC) couldn’t finish the game out strong against the No. 7 Orange (7-3, 5-0 ACC), falling by a 15-14 margin. 

Despite the loss, Virginia came out strong in the first quarter. Junior attacker Kate Miller made an incisive pass from the right wing to cutting graduate attacker Katia Carnevale who opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game. The early goal started a 5-1 Cavaliers run, looking to put away Syracuse early. Miller bagged three assists during this span, and Carnevale slotted the ball home twice. Midway through the opening period, the Orange didn’t have any answers for the Cavaliers’ attack. Another reason for the early lead was senior defender Maggie Bostain, who picked up three ground balls during the quarter.

Soon after freshman midfielder Kate Galica extended the lead to 5-1, Syracuse started a first quarter run of their own. Senior midfielder Maddy Baxter scored twice in quick succession, then freshman midfielder Joely Caramelli cut the Virginia lead to just one as the quarter came to a close. 

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair. Beginning with Baxter tying the game early into the period, both teams would trade goals four times to make it 9-8 in favor of the Cavaliers as time waned down. However, with just eight seconds left in the half, the Orange made the contest an even one at nine goals apiece. During this shootout of a quarter, Baxter and Carnevale completed first half hat tricks, and Syracuse’s junior attacker Payton Rowley scored twice. 

The Orange would take their first lead of the game in the third quarter, as junior attacker Olivia Adamson assisted Baxter just 27 seconds into the half. Senior midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg equalized soon after for Virginia, then Miller gave them the lead with a skillful dodge from behind the crease, hurling the ball between the goalie’s legs. After trading goals twice more, the quarter ended with the Cavaliers up 13-12.

The fourth quarter started great for Virginia, with a dominant opening draw win that led to a wide open goal for Carnevale. However, this was the last time the Cavaliers found the net, and a three-goal closing period by Syracuse allowed the Orange to leave Charlottesville with a win. Four turnovers in the quarter made it hard for Virginia to score that much needed equalizer. The final score was 15-14, as Syracuse defended its undefeated ACC campaign.

Both sides of the ball played well for the Cavaliers despite the loss. Carnevale had five goals, while Miller added one goal and four assists. A stagnant fourth quarter sealed Virginia’s fate against a nationally contending Orange team. Syracuse’s Adamson, Rowley and graduate midfielder Emma Tyrrell had four points on the day, along with five goals for Baxter.

The Cavaliers showed great hustle and determination in a game that we may see again in the ACC or NCAA Tournaments. Coach Sonia LaMonica emphasized how the team should not let this loss discourage their progress.

“This team just continues to battle from quarter to quarter,” LaMonica said. “Credit to Syracuse, they really played us so tough today. I think it was a really great battle and that will make us stronger for sure. This was our toughest game yet this season so credit to Syracuse. Our team kept fighting and it really did come down to the wire. It is a bump in the road, but we will move forward.”

Virginia will look to get back to their winning ways against Duke Saturday. The contest hosted in Durham, N.C. will start at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACCNX.

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