CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (SU ATHLETICS) – Despite limiting No. 1/1 North Carolina (18-0) to its lowest goal total since 2019 (7 at Notre Dame), No. 3/3 Syracuse (14-3) came up short in the ACC Championship Game and lost by a score of 9-4 on Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill.
“I thought that our defense played an amazing game,” said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. “In goal, Asa Goldstock kept us in the game and gave us a chance to crawl back and get even with them. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done on the offensive end. I think we had enough opportunities, but we weren’t finishing our shots and we weren’t putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Emma Ward led the Orange in points (4), goals (2), and assists (2) while Emily Ehle and Emma Tyrrell accounted for the other two Orange tallies. The ‘Cuse also received strong defensive showings from Goldstock and Kerry Defliese. Goldstock posted 11 saves (her most since turning away 11 shots against Notre Dame on March 14) while Defliese tallied three caused turnovers and two ground balls.
With nearly five minutes gone in the opening period, Syracuse struck first with a goal from Ehle to take a 1-0 lead. However, the Tar Heels scored the next three goals of the game over a 10-minute stretch to take a 3-1 edge with 14:26 to play in the half.
Over 13 minutes went by before Ward scored with 49 seconds left on the clock to break the defensive stalemate and bring the Orange within one, but a swift charge down the field led to Melissa Sconone putting a shot past Goldstock to give UNC a 4-2 lead at the break.
Jamie Ortega scored her second goal of the game and 72nd goal of the season to put the Heels in front 5-2 to open the second stanza. Eight minutes later, Emma Tyrrell found the back of the net to bring the margin back to two. The teams again traded tallies before North Carolina scored the final three goals of the match to secure the 9-4 victory and win its fifth-straight ACC Championship.