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ACC WLAX Tourney: Syracuse Defeats Duke in Semis, Takes on UNC in Sunday's Title Game

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In a game that looked as though Duke might pull away, Syracuse had something else to say.

Syracuse University Women's Lacrosse Official Twitter Account

The Syracuse Orange had a quick turnaround after their win against Boston College on Thursday night. They squared off against Duke in a Friday matinee game, the second semifinal of the day. The revenge train kept chugging as Syracuse had lost a tightly contested one-point game to the Blue Devils on March 28th.

Duke began the contest with three quick goals in the first five minutes of play, and even after Kailah Kempney scored the Orange's first goal 11 seconds later, it seemed as though the Blue Devils would pull away and head to their first ever ACC Tournament Championship Game. Syracuse had something to say about that.

With 14:52 left in the first half, Duke was up 6-2 looking pretty darn good, finding all different ways to score. Then, the Orange opened up the floodgates, going on a four goal run until the horn sounded, tying the game at six. They carried the momentum after halftime, scoring three more goals to go ahead 9-6 with 24:55 to go. The closest the defense let the Blue Devils get in the second half was two goals. Syracuse went up by four with a little over 3 1/2 minutes left, plenty of time for Duke to get back in the game, but the defense and Kelsey Richardson held their ground, sending the team to Sunday's title game against UNC.

Final Score: Syracuse 14, Duke 10

Key Players

Three Duke players scored multiple goals, attackers Kerrin Maurer and Brigid Smith and midfielder Taylor Trimble, all of which scored twice. Trimble had the highest total draw controls with four, the next highest being midfielder Maddie Crutchfield with two. In goal, Kelsey Duryea saved nine balls on 14 goals.

For Syracuse, freshman attacker Riley Donahue and senior midfielder Loren Ziegler led the way with three goals each on the day. Sophomore midfielder Taylor Poplawski and junior counterpart Halle Majorana both scored twice. Even though Kayla Treanor put up a zero on the scoreboard, she did have three assists, which can sometimes be more valuable than goals. She also won five of the team's 15 draw controls, Kailah Kempney also with five of those, and the rest spread out among four other teammates. For the second straight game, Kelsey Richardson was solid between the pipes. She saved eight on 10 goals, coming up big at the end of the second half to stave off the Blue Devil attack.

Up Next...

The Orange will continue their revenge tour against top-seeded UNC in the ACC Tournament Final on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST. Last time around, earlier this month, the Tar Heels stuffed Syracuse, winning handily 15-8. We'll see how the matchup plays out this time around, though.