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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Boston College comeback stuns Orange, spoils undefeated regular season

The fourth quarter was unkind as the Orange let a big lead and their perfect record get away.

Boston College v Syracuse Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

For most of Thursday night at the SU Soccer Stadium, it felt like the Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team was heading towards a big time celebration and a historic night in their regular season finale against the Boston College Eagles.

That feeling only grew after a dominant first half put the Orange up by half a dozen early in the second. Late in the third quarter, when Meaghan Tyrrell found her sister for a goal that put the Orange up five and pushed her past Katie Rowan to make her the all-time points leader in Syracuse women’s lacrosse history, it felt like we were getting even closer.

But the Eagles had different plans in mind, and dominated SU in the fourth quarter to pull off the massive comeback and spoil ‘Cuse’s party plans with the 17-16 victory.

With a win, the Orange would have closed out an undefeated regular season, won the ACC title outright for the first time, secured the top seed in the ACC Tournament, and set a new program record for consecutive games won.

All of that went out the window with BC’s comeback.

The Eagles just completely dominated the second half on both ends of the field, especially the fourth quarter. After SU controlled the first half and took an 11-6 lead into the break, they scored the first goal of the third to take their biggest lead of the night at 12-6.

BC started to take control of the game in the third, but ‘Cuse still took a four-goal lead into the fourth, 14-10. That’s when the Eagles really took over. They outscored SU 7-2 to emerge with a 17-16 win to take all the joy for themselves.

It was certainly a tale of two halves, but what made the second half comeback so stunning was that it took the entire second half to complete. BC never went on a huge run in a short amount of time to immediately put themselves right back in the game. Instead, it took them the entire half to whittle away the ‘Cuse lead and turn a six-goal deficit into a one-goal win. And for the first time this season, the Orange did not have an answer for an opponent’s push.

The BC offense completely owned SU’s defense in that fourth quarter. They carved ‘Cuse’s zone up like it was nothing, finding cutters open in the middle of the eight-meter arc on almost every possession as the Orange were unable to make the proper adjustments. And Delaney Sweitzer (10 SV, .370%), who has been unbelievable bailing her defense out all season long, was unable to make a single save in the fourth as BC poured in seven goals to steal the win.

On the flip side, BC freshman goalie Shea Dolce (12 saves) was fantastic, especially in the second half, coming up with several big saves to keep the Orange offense at bay while her offense was making their comeback. After surrendering 11 goals in the first half, Shea made five saves in the second half while only giving up five goals.

The BC defense, too, deserves a ton of credit for the way they defended SU. While the Orange did score 16 goals and shoot 50 percent for the game, they were stifled in the second half.

The most impressive thing the BC defense did in this game was defend the SU ‘big four’ of Meaghan Tyrrell (2G, 1A), Emma Ward (1G, 1A), Meg Carney (1G), and Emma Tyrrell (2G, 1A). The quartet came into the day averaging 18.1 points per game among them, and the Eagles held them to exactly half their normal production with nine total points.

While Sierra Cockerille (3G, 2A) and Maddy Baxter (4G) had huge days outpacing their normal production to somewhat make up for what the big four weren’t doing, the Orange obviously need their best players to lead the way if they are going to win games like this. Credit the BC defense for doing one of the best jobs all season at limiting the production of ‘Cuse’s offensive stars.

This one really stings for SU, especially because they were up by a lot for such a large portion of the game. They led almost the entire way through. BC actually had a lead in this game for less than two total minutes.

The fact that so much was on the line and so many historic achievements got away obviously makes it that much worse. But now, the Orange need to use that as motivation as they move into knockout season; especially if they run into BC again. They’ve now lost three in a row to the Eagles, and still have yet to get any measure of revenge on them for the 2021 title game. Now they can add this one to the list, too.

The Orange will be back in action next week down in Charlotte, NC for the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday, April 26. the game will be at 4 PM on ACC Network and SU will play the winner of the first round game between No. 7 seeded Virginia Tech and No. 10 seeded Pittsburgh.