Men’s LAX falls to Tar Heels in ACC Tourney opener
Men's LAX falls to Tar Heels in ACC Tourney opener
If there was ever a game to be described as “back-and-forth,” the first-round ACC tournament matchup between the Syracuse Orange and North Carolina Tar Heels would be it. In fact, the score was tied on seven different occasions throughout the game and, until the fourth period, neither team led by more than two goals at any time. Ultimately, UNC came out with the 11-10 victory.
Despite the game taking place in North Carolina on the Tar Heels’ home field, the Orange looked more than capable of coming away with a win, scoring the first two goals of the game. Jacob Buttermore and Bradley Voigt, the latter of whom finished with a game-high four goals, got the Orange on the board first early. UNC, however, had an answer, putting up two goals of their own in quick succession.
After some early goals in the second period led to a tied score at four goals for each team, the scoring slowed down rather significantly. The end of the first half was filled with turnovers, missed shots and mounting frustration on both sides for two teams that just could not seem to get a good look at the net. With the way the game was going, it would not have been all that surprising if neither team scored for the rest of regulation. For the remainder of the quarter, that was the case.
About four minutes into the second half, though, Voigt ended the scoring drought and put his team ahead by a goal. The Tar Heels, once again, were able to even the score shortly after this, causing Syracuse to become more and more irritated with how the game was going. An ill-advised turnaround shot from the Orange that sailed well over North Carolina’s goal followed by a scuffle between the two teams directly in front of the Tar Heels’ bench were evidence of the team’s frustration.
Finally, though, the momentum began to swing in the Orange’s favor. With only about 10 seconds remaining in the quarter, Syracuse took possession and charged down the field. Somehow, the ball ended up with Nate Solomon, who scored with only two seconds left on the clock.
After this goal, the Orange went on a 3-1 scoring run in the fourth quarter, leading 10-7 with just over six minutes to go in the game. It appeared Syracuse would be going on to face the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the next round of the ACC Tournament.
Then, the unthinkable happened. North Carolina scored three goals in 45 seconds, the last two of which came within six seconds of each other.
With 3:01 left, the game was tied up at 10 goals each. But North Carolina was not going to settle for overtime and scored again with just over a minute remaining.
The Orange had one final chance to even the score at 11, but UNC’s goal proved to be the game’s final one.
The Orange will look to rebound from this tough loss in the upcoming NCAA tournament.