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Syracuse Field Hockey: Orange Advance To ACC Championship Final

Syracuse beat North Carolina in an overtime thriller on Friday in the ACC Championship semifinals.

Jack Marion

A day removed from scoring an ACC Field Hockey Championship-record four goals against Boston College, Emma Russell was at it again on Friday.

This time, the junior forward scored two goals -- one of which served as the game-winner in overtime -- to help the Syracuse Orange take down the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, 3-2, and advance to the ACC Championship final on Sunday.

"Emma Russell just stepped up and finished a beautiful run," head coach Ange Bradley told after the win. "She is playing and peaking at the right time of year. It is exciting."

Russell's first goal of the night (and 18th of the season) came in the 16th minute and put Syracuse on the scoreboard first.

North Carolina answered with two goals in the final seven minutes of the first half to take a 2-1 lead into halftime, but freshman midfielder Lieke Visser of Syracuse was able to even the score in the 55th minute.

The score remained at 2-2 through the end of regulation, and Russell scored the game-winner just about eight minutes into the sudden-death period.

According to, the win was Syracuse's first against a team ranked No. 1 in the nation since 2008, when the Orange beat the Maryland Terrapins. The win also avenged Syracuse's 3-0 loss to North Carolina on September 12 in Chapel Hill.

Syracuse's win wasn't the only upset of the day -- the fourth-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons beat the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers, 2-1, in the day's other semifinal.

The Orange and Demon Deacons will meet in Durham at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday in the final. Like Friday's game, the action will be broadcast on ESPN3.