As Boston College lacrosse loaded onto its bus, there wasn’t much to talk about. This was it, the ACC Championship. The Eagles packed their bags with the intention of staying down in Blacksburg, Va. for as long as it would take to triumphantly return to Chestnut Hill with some meaningful hardware. But the path to glory is laden with challenges, and the No. 16 Eagles (10-8, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) learned that quickly as they took on the Orange from Syracuse University. A familiar foe, the No. 4 Orange (15-4, 5-2) and the Eagles have played each other tough throughout the ages. Most recently, BC upset the then-No. 2 Orange at home, upending Syracuse by a score of 13-8. But the Orange was out for revenge and looked to repeat what it had done during last season’s ACC Tournament, when it beat BC in double overtime 15-14. This matchup offered no separation between these two teams, but it was Syracuse that came out triumphant in the end, beating BC by a score of 16-11.
The first half opened up with a quick start by BC. Scoring the first two goals, the Eagles looked poised to rake down the Orange for the second time this season. But Syracuse reacted quickly, as it would all afternoon, and rattled off four straight goals to give it the lead at 4-2. The Orange didn’t look back, and led the way for the rest of the game. After exchanging goals, BC goalie Zoe Ochoa made a great save on a tough shot in front of the net, but her outlet pass sailed right in between two Eagles, going out of bounds. The succeeding Orange possession led to an easy Syracuse goal to set the score at 6-4. On the succeeding Eagle possession, Tess Chandler put on two great moves en route to an isolated shot and score, giving the Eagles some momentum as they trailed 6-5.
BC would recover a ground ball in its own end, and while transitioning to the attacking zone, Syracuse committed a two-minute penalty to give the Eagles a man advantage. After some good offensive play, a Kate Weeks shot trickled right by the Orange goalie, tying the game at 6-6. But that was as close as BC would get to seizing the lead. Syracuse didn’t stay down for too long, as Kelly Cross made a great offensive maneuver to beat her man and went top shelf on Ochoa, giving the Orange the lead. After a missed opportunity on a free-position shot by BC, the Eagles and the Orange would head into their respective locker rooms for halftime.
The second-half scoring featured an offensive explosion by the Orange. The barrage of goals began with Syracuse’s Taylor Gait, who made a move to beat Ochoa to extend the Orange lead to two goals. A BC defensive breakdown on the next series would give Kayla Treanor a clear line to Ochoa, who could do little more than watch the shot pop right over her head and into the net. Shortly after, Nicole Levy would score again for the Orange on a low, skipping shot that snuck in for a goal from the weak side. But the Syracuse barrage didn’t end there. Riley Donahue scored on an uncontested shot, and shortly after Erica Bodt would beat Ochoa to give Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 12-6 after six unanswered goals for the Orange.
But BC would get on the board at the midway point of the half on a Chandler bounce shot that cut the Orange lead to five. Syracuse’s juggernaut offense, however, responded again on a goal by Levy.
BC would punch back with back-to-back goals by Kenzie Kent and Chandler to put the Eagles back in the game by a score of 13-9. Kent scored on a free-position shot in the middle of the field, and Chandler broke into the middle of the Syracuse defense and ducked her man to get inside for the score. After Caroline Margolis picked up a two-minute penalty, it didn’t take Syracuse long to capitalize. Halle Majorana scored on the man-up possession for the Orange after a beautiful pass from Treanor sailed over the top of the net fell right into her stick with a wide open net in front of her. Kent would respond for BC, but two more Orange goals sent Syracuse on its way to the second round. BC’s Chandler would score one more goal for the Eagles on a free-position shot, but it was too late for the Eagles to mount a comeback.
Featured Image by Lucius Xuan / Heights Staff