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Syracuse's Lauren Brooks, 10, is pressured by North Carolina's Julia Young, 16, and Emily Wold, 9, during the ACC Field Hockey Semifinals, on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Durham, N.C. #ACCFH (Photo by Sara D. Davis, theACC.com)
Emma Russell scores twice to set ACC Championship scoring record
DURHAM , N.C. – In a rematch of last year’s semifinal matchup, No. 6-seeded Syracuse defeated second-seeded North Carolina, 3-2, in overtime in the semifinals of the 2014 ACC Field Hockey Championship on Friday.
Junior Emma Russell scored two of the three Syracuse goals, including the overtime game winner, to give her six for the tournament, an ACC Championship record for a player.
“Emma Russell just stepped up and finished a beautiful goal,” said Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley. “She’s playing and peaking at the right time of the year and it is exciting.”
The win advances Syracuse to its first appearance in the ACC title game where it will take on fourth-seeded Wake Forest on Sunday at 1 p.m.
“I’m so happy for our program,” said Bradley. “This is a first for us getting to play for an ACC Championship and I’m so proud of our kids and our team for what we accomplished tonight.”
The first goal of the match came in the 16th minute when Syracuse’s Russell took a pass across the circle from Alyssa Manley, spun around and scored in the left side of the net. The goal was Russell’s 18th of the season and fifth of the championship.
The Tar Heels got on the scoreboard with six minutes left in the half as Emma Bozek stole the ball from the Syracuse defense, fired a shot towards net and had it deflected into the back of the cage by Casey Di Nardo, her eighth of the season.
North Carolina scored again shortly after when Charlotte Craddock grabbed a rebound and put it in for a goal. The unassisted score was Craddock’s 12th on the year.
With the Orange down 2-1, Lieke Visser inserted a penalty corner to Lies Lagerweij, then corralled the rebounded shot off North Carolina goalkeeper Shannon Johnson and scored the equalizer. The goal was Visser’s ninth this season.
The game winner came with 7:10 remaining in the first overtime period as Russell split the North Carolina defense and ripped a backhanded shot into the top right corner of the cage. The score was Russell’s 19th this year and her fourth overtime goal this season.
Syracuse held a 14-11 advantage in shots and had eight penalty corners to North Carolina’s three.
Jess Jecko (13-4) made seven saves for the Orange while Johnson (13-2) also had seven stops in the loss.