The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's lacrosse defeats Syracuse 15-9 in third round of ACC Tournament


UNC senior attacker Melissa Sconone celebrates after scoring in the third quarter of the women's lacrosse game against Duke at Koskinen Stadium on Thursday, April 20, 2023. UNC beat Duke 13-12.

The No. 6 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team (14-3, 8-2 ACC) defeated the No. 2 Syracuse Orange (16-2, 8-2) 15-9 at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday afternoon, sending the Tar Heels to the ACC championship game.

What happened?

After the Orange nearly scored in the opening seconds, the Tar Heels got out and running, scoring on a 2-on-1 break. Senior attacker Melissa Sconone scored the first goal of the day for UNC off an assist from junior attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger.

The only Tar Heel to score in each game this season, first-year attacker Marissa White, continued a dominant first season with a goal on a free position to give UNC a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. UNC's third goal came from redshirt sophomore attacker Reilly Casey.

After struggling to put away Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals, Syracuse continued its downward trajectory as the Tar Heels got off to a quick start. 

UNC’s defense was locked in, making it difficult for Syracuse to get looks early. The Orange struggled to keep possession, and the Tar Heels took advantage. White drove in her second goal of the first quarter as UNC’s lead grew to 4-0. 

First-year attacker Caroline Godine wrapped around the cage and extended the lead to five as UNC continued to stifle one of the nation’s top teams. The five-point deficit was the largest the Orange had faced all season. 

And then five became six. A pass over the top of the net from Wurzburger found Godine right in front of the crease as she sent it in with just under 20 seconds in the first quarter. UNC closed the first 15 minutes up 6-0.

White claimed a hat trick in the opening minutes of the second quarter, and Sconone claimed her second goal of the day as the Tar Heels’ lead continued to grow. Finally, Syracuse got on the board about mid-way through the second quarter. The goal from the Orange cut the UNC lead to seven.

Just as Syracuse appeared to be gaining some momentum defensively, Godine dampened their spirits with a goal to extend the lead back out to eight. After a lengthy review to determine whether the Orange had entered the crease prior to a shot, a goal by Syracuse was counted. UNC came down and earned that goal right back. Godine scored her fourth goal of the half in the closing seconds of play to put UNC up 10-2 at the half.

Both teams exchanged goals to start the third quarter, with Casey’s second goal of the day putting the score at 11-3. 

The Tar Heels’ defense continued to fuel its offense as a steal from first-year midfielder Kaleigh Harden led to a fast-break goal for Wurzburger, who had her first shot into the net to go along with four assists. 

Syracuse refused to go away without a fight though. The Orange scored four goals in a row midway through the third, including their first assisted goal. After going without a goal for the first 20 minutes of the game, Syracuse had scored seven times, narrowing the lead to just five as UNC led 12-7.

When the Tar Heels finally got the ball back, Godine ended the Orange’s run with her fifth goal of the day to help stop the bleeding as the Tar Heels led 13-7 heading into the fourth.

Senior midfielder Nicole Humphrey helped UNC double-up the Orange 14-7 with her first goal of the day as UNC kept its foot on the gas to start the fourth quarter. Godine’s sixth goal of the game was the nail in the coffin as UNC reclaimed an eight point lead, 15-7.

Despite two late goals from Syracuse, UNC claimed a 15-9 win.

Who stood out? 

First-years Godine and White notched hat tricks in a dominant first half for the Tar Heels that helped UNC jump out to an early and dominant lead. Godine’s four and White’s three goals accounted for seven of UNC’s 10 first half goals. Godine ended the game with an emphatic career-high six goals.

Sophomore defender Brooklyn Walker-Welch was huge all game for the Tar Heels defensively. She was paramount in limiting the typically high powered Syracuse offense. 

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels got out to a big lead early, but Syracuse made a big run toward the end of the third quarter. UNC weathered the storm and struck first in the fourth quarter. From that point, the Tar Heels never looked back. 

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels were able to avenge their 14-12 loss to the then-No. 1 Syracuse Orange nearly two weeks ago. UNC now has a chance to win its seventh consecutive ACC title, which would be the longest streak in conference history. 

When do they play next?

In a rematch of both last year’s ACC Championship and National Championship games, the Tar Heels will take on the No. 4 Boston College Eagles in Charlotte at noon on Sunday in the ACC title game. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network. The two teams met in Chapel Hill on March 3, a matchup that UNC won 16-5.


@dthsports |