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Syracuse Women's Lacrosse: Orange Blow Late Chance to Win ACC Title

Syracuse lost to UNC in the ACC title game, 15-14 in overtime. The Orange had a golden chance, but they came up empty.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In one of the wildest games in ACC tournament history, Syracuse lost a heartbreaker to North Carolina 15-14 in overtime. But, they had it. Syracuse had the title in their hands.

Fast forward to the second half. Syracuse is leading 13-11 with five minutes left to play. All of the sudden Syracuse turns the ball over on two offensive possessions and UNC storms back to make it 14-13 with 36 seconds to play. Syracuse looks like they are down and out. North Carolina won the ensuing draw and looked to kill the final seconds.

In a last desperation attempt, Syracuse gets UNC's Marie McCool's stick checked. At first the officials ruled it legal and handed McCool back her stick. But something wasn't right, they checked it a second time. Officials deliberated some more, one refers back and forth to rulebook sheet she held in her had.

Then to what seemed like a miracle for the Orange, McCool is flagged for an illegal stick. Syracuse gets the ball back and is man-up.

Syracuse runs their offense as time is ticking away. Erica Bodt drives in the eight-meter with six seconds left and earns a free position. Wide open to her right is Riley Donahue, who is looking to cut in front of the net and score. Bodt makes the pass off the whistle.

The ball is flung a bit high and tips Donahue's stick., rolling toward the sideline. Seconds feel like minutes as Kayla Treanor dashes to save the ball.

She scoops it up, turns around, and in a desperate attempt flings it toward the middle of the field. It finds its way past UNC's defense and into the stick of Kelly Cross who buries it as time expires (skip to 4:15 on the video below).

The fans, both benches, and television viewers all over were in disbelief at what just happened. Syracuse had life. Not only did they have life, because of the illegal stick and a yellow card that gave Bodt the free position, Syracuse would head into overtime 2 men-up.

All they had to do was win the draw and run their offense and it looked like Syracuse had this game knotted up.

Treanor, the best at the draw in the nation, steps up to the circle and wins it. Syracuse has the ball and it's 6-on-4. One goal would seal their second-consecutive ACC championship.

But the Orange were sloppy, they felt the pressure. Passes were being dropped and they looked timid, as if no one seemed to want the weight of the last shot.

Freshman Nicole Levy stepped up to the plate and flung one that sailed over the net. It looked to be Syracuse's ball, but Levy somehow earned a yellow card.

Syracuse went from two men-up to one man down and lost possession in the span of six seconds. They blew it, you could feel it.

Heads hung on the SU offense as North Carolina successfully cleared the ball. It was up to the defense to get a stop.

They were man-down and UNC had momentum. Unlike Syracuse, the Tar Heels kept their foot on the gas.

Aly Messinger would end the game on that possession, scoring her third goal of the day for North Carolina. White and light blue jerseys cleared the bench.

Syracuse could only watch as UNC celebrated what should have been their trophy.

The Orange fought till the clock struck zero, literally, to force overtime. With two men-up it seemed as if the trophy would be on its way to a display case at Manley Field House. But, all it took was six seconds for the Orange to collapse.

Follow me on Twitter, @NickPetraccione, for more Syracuse women's lacrosse news.