The No. 15/16 Syracuse Orange went into this weekend’s game against the No. 5/5 North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday still looking for their first ACC win of the season. Unfortunately, SU’s draw control woes continued as the Tar Heels dominated the circle to pull away in the second half for a 20-11 win.
The Orange (8-7, 0-5 ACC) kept within striking range of UNC (10-3, 5-1 ACC) midway through the first half. A pair of goals by Emily Hawryschuk and a goal each by Sam Swart and Neena Merola had the ‘Cuse trailing the Tar Heels by one at 5-4 with 14:27 remaining in the first half. However, North Carolina started to pull away, taking a 8-5 lead going into the break.
Hawryschuk’s goal just two minutes into the second half cut the Tar Heel lead to 8-6. But UNC used their draw control advantage to keep possession and limit Syracuse’s chances to score. The Tar Heels outdrew the Orange 14-5 in the second half, doubling up on SU in scoring to pull away for the win.
Shots: North Carolina 35, Syracuse 27
Shots on Goal: North Carolina 29, Syracuse 21
Turnovers: North Carolina 12, Syracuse 9
Clears: North Carolina 13-14, Syracuse 19-22
Ground Balls: North Carolina 10, Syracuse 9
Fouls: Syracuse 24 & 1 yellow card, North Carolina 18
Draw Controls: North Carolina 23, Syracuse 10
Free Position Shots: Syracuse 3-5, North Carolina 0-5
Hawryschuk had four goals for the game, Riley Donahue had a pair of goals and assists each, Merola ended up with three points (2 g, 1 a). Swart, Molly Carter and Mary Rahal each had a goal. Vanessa Constantino had a pair of ground balls. Hawryschuk also had seven of SU’s 10 draw controls. Asa Goldstock had nine saves against 16 goals in 47 minutes plus a pair of ground balls and caused turnovers each. Hannah Van Middelem and Bri Stahrr split up the remaining 13 minutes and each gave up a pair of goals against no saves.
Draw controls were a problem all day for the Orange, but the tipping point came at the beginning of the second half. Hawryschuk was able to score less than two minutes in to cut North Carolina’s lead to 8-6, but the Tar Heels nonetheless won the first four draw controls after halftime. Following this goal, three straight draw controls led to three Tar Heel goals in less than a minute (between the 27:32 and 26:41 marks) which expanded their lead to 11-6. The Orange never got closer than four after that.
Draw Control Blues (continued): Once again, the Orange could not find an answer in the draw circle against a top 10 opponent. Given that the stats were pretty even in other areas, it was this one that stood out the most. The Tar Heels won 23 of 33 draws on Saturday afternoon, 14 of which came in the second half. North Carolina had a roughly 2-1 advantage throughout the first half (9-5), but it was the almost 3:1 ratio of draw controls in the second half (14-5) that proved insurmountable for SU. The Tar Heels simply had many more opportunities to score than Syracuse.
The Orange will travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass. on Thursday to face No. 3/2 Boston College (16-0, 6-0 ACC) at 5 p.m. ET. BC has struggled the last two games against Dartmouth and Virginia Tech, winning 13-10 and 9-7 respectively. However, Syracuse will have to have a monster game to have a chance at an upset. As it stands, BC and North Carolina have now locked up the No. 1 & 2 seeds in the ACCT. Duke and Notre Dame will battle for the 4th seed tomorrow while Virginia Tech and Virginia will battle for the No. 3 spot next weekend. The Orange cannot get any higher than the seventh seed at this point and that will come down to the Louisville game next Sunday. With today’s loss, Syracuse will face either the Tar Heels or the Eagles again in the 1st round of the ACCT.