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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 4 Syracuse University field team advances to its third Final Four in program history after a 3-1 win against No. 6 Penn State in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon at J.S. Coyne Stadium. It marks the second time in three seasons that Syracuse will play in the national semifinals.
Syracuse (17-6) used three-first half goals to stymie Penn State (16-6) and advance to the Final Four. Senior forward Lauren Brooks, junior forward Emma Russell, and freshman forward Lies Lagerweij all scored in the team's quarterfinals victory.
For the second straight contest, the Orange scored in the opening 10 minutes to take an early advantage. Freshman forward Laura Hurff found an open Russell in the scoring circle in the sixth minute of play. Russell scored her 20th goal of the year to put the squad ahead 1-0. The Enniskerry, Ireland native now ranks third in program history with 41 career goals.
14 minutes later, the Orange was back at it. Brooks put a shot into the far post to give Syracuse a 2-0 lead. It marked the senior forward's 40th goal of her collegiate career, which ranks fifth in school history.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The top-ranked North Carolina field hockey team earned a final four spot, its seventh in the last eight years, with a 3-0 shutout of No. 9 Duke Sunday afternoon in an NCAA Tournament second round game. Playing on their home turf at Francis E. Henry Stadium, the Tar Heels got the gamewinner from senior Loren Shealyand two more goals from junior Emma Bozek to improve to 19-3 and extend their season another game. Duke finished with a record of 13-7.
The final four trip is the sixth in a row for UNC and the 19th in program history. The Tar Heels are six-time NCAA Champions, with the most recent title coming in 2009. Last year, Carolina fell to eventual-champion Connecticut in the NCAA semifinals.
UNC, the No. 1 seed in the field, will face No. 4 Syracuse Friday in an NCAA Tournament semifinal game in College Park, Md. The Tar Heels and Orange have met twice already this fall, with UNC winning 3-0 in the regular season and Syracuse winning 3-2 in overtime in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Nov. 7.