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With Syracuse, North Carolina and Duke advancing to the NCAA semifinals, it marked the fifth time in the league’s 19 years with three teams in the final four and 12th time with at least two teams in the final four. In those 19 years, the ACC has produced 36 of the 76 (47.4 percent) national semifinal teams.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – No. 3/3 Syracuse is headed back to the Final Four after defeating No. 13/13 Loyola, 10-8, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, May 16. With the victory the Orange advances to the national semifinals for the fourth consecutive year and the fifth time in the last six seasons. Syracuse will face either No. 1 Maryland or No. 9 Northwestern on Friday, May 22 in Philadelphia.
"It was an extraordinary game against a phenomenal Loyola team with a lot of seniors who didn't want to go home today," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "I have to give credit to our defense. They held a team that scored 19 goals last week to seven. They did a great job and it was fun to watch. They continually gave us the ball back, gave us opportunities to keep working and grinding on the offensive end. Our offense grinded it out and played tough and made plays when they had to."
Since Gait took over the helm of the program in 2008, the Orange has played in the national semifinals six times (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014). Syracuse will try to advance to the national championship game for the second consecutive season and for the third time in the last three years.
A tight first half featured four ties as neither team led by more than a goal. Kara Burke scored Loyola's first two goals and Taryn VanThof's goal at the 16:33 mark gave the Greyhounds (17-5) a 3-2 lead. A failed Loyola clear led to a fastbreak goal by sophomore Taylor Poplawski and a goal by junior Halle Majorana put the Orange (16-7) ahead 4-3 with 5:10 remaining in the first half. Loyola had the final possession of the half and took advantage of it. Syracuse goalkeeper Kelsey Richardsonstopped Burke's shot but couldn't control the ball. Annie Thomas picked up the ground ball and put her shot in the back of the net with one second on the clock to tie the game at 4-4 at intermission.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sydney Holman had a season-high four goals and six points as the North Carolina women’s lacrosse team came from behind to beat Penn State, 11-8, in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals at Fetzer Field on Saturday afternoon. Carolina trailed 8-4 in the second half, tying its biggest deficit of the season, before closing the game on a 7-0 run to win.
Carolina advances to next weekend’s NCAA semifinals in Chester, Pa., and will play Duke, which beat Princeton on Saturday afternoon in Durham, N.C. The Tar Heels move on to the NCAA semifinals for the eighth time overall and the fifth time in the last seven years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015). Carolina improves to 18-2 at home in NCAA Tournament play and has won 17 of its last 18 home NCAA contests. UNC is now 8-8 all-time in NCAA quarterfinals.
“Congratulations to Penn State on a great year,” Tar Heel head coach Jenny Levy said afterward. “First ever Big Ten champion comes in unranked in this tournament, which is really hard to believe, and had a really tough road. They obviously gave us everything we could handle in the first half, where I thought we just looked a little tentative, a little nervous and were kind of playing as individuals out there.”
Penn State went on a 5-0 run in the first half after the Tar Heels had taken a 3-1 lead on Holman’s second goal at the 19:55 mark. PSU went on its 5-0 run over the course of a 12:16 scoreless span for Carolina. UNC trailed, 7-4, at halftime, marking its third halftime deficit of season (and tying its biggest of the season, a three-goal deficit at Maryland on Feb. 22).
DURHAM, N.C. – The third-seeded Blue Devils turned in one of their strongest defensive efforts of the year, holding Princeton to a season-low scoring output to earn a spot in the NCAA semifinals for the first time since 2011 with a 7-3 victory over the Tigers Saturday at Koskinen Stadium.
Duke advanced to the final weekend of college lacrosse for the seventh time in program history while improving to 16-4 on the season. The program also moved to 15-3 all time in NCAA Tournament contests played at home in Durham.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Princeton on an awesome season,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “We knew that they were going to be a great opponent today. I’m so proud of our kids because I knew it was going to take an ‘A’ class effort to beat them. I thought, particularly on our defensive end, our kids were so tuned in, so dialed in to what Princeton was trying to work for. I thought that was the key to our game.”
As has been the case for much of the season, the Blue Devil attack was balanced in its performance, with six different players finding the back of the net. Senior Kerrin Maurer led the way with two goals to move into second place on the program’s career points list with 278 over her four seasons. Maurer also secured a game-high three draw controls to help Duke win the category, 8-4.
Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea paced the defense with five saves while sophomore defenders Isabelle Montagne and Maura Schwitter joined attackers Kyra Harney and Brigid Smith in accounting for one caused turnover each.