Photo courtesy of BC Women's Lacrosse / Twitter

Eagles Sneak Past Syracuse in Semifinal Shootout

Boston College’s Dempsey Arsenault held the ball at the top of the eight meter with under a minute left in the game. She had no intention of letting the clock expire without getting the ball to the back of the net.  Arsenault fed Taylor Walker the ball, Walker flipped her stick around and back handed the ball into the net before Syracuse’s defenders even realized what was going on. As rain fell on Alumni Stadium, the crowd went into uproar as the Eagles completed a gritty comeback.  

Yet again, the Eagles found a way to remain perfect as they bested a strong Syracuse team in their closest game all year.  BC pulled off a four-goal run in the last eight minutes of the ACC tournament semifinal matchup to pull ahead by one and ruin Syracuse’s hopes of putting a blemish on the Eagles undefeated record.

The Friday late afternoon matchup was an emotional rollercoaster for both teams as they battled it out in a torrential downpour. There was a total of seven lead changes throughout the course of the game and it was clear this game would come down to the line.

The game started out with both teams exchanging goals back and forth for the first 12 minutes.  The score was 2-2 and Syracuse proved they came ready for a brawl.   

Syracuse pulled ahead by two with 15 minutes left in the half, but BC rallied and tied it up with a fast break goal and a lightning fast quick stick feed in front of the crease.  Both teams’ defenses were ferocious and refused to allow even one easy shot.  

BC tried to hold the lead heading into halftime but a Hail Mary pass from the Syracuse goalie setup a loose ball rolling near the BC goal and sure enough Syracuse’s Emily Hawryschuk hit the ball right between the goalie’s legs and into the net.  The Orange’s fans erupted in cheers and BC went into halftime without a lead for just the second time all season.

It was clear that the weather was affecting everyone’s game as both teams had several overthrown passes.  With the game tied up it was perfect conditions for Syracuse to upset the Eagles, and it sure seemed like that was possible in the second half.

Syracuse came out firing and scored with the first minute, but BC would respond and double down just a few minutes later, making the score 9-8.  Both teams seemed flawless as Syracuse zipped the ball around and BC stayed tight on each player without giving up an inch of space towards the goal.  

The name of today’s game was capitalizing on mistakes, and ‘Cuse did exactly that when a BC defender got caught up in a well set pick and ripped a shot right past the goalie to stay neck and neck with the best team in the nation.

Again, both teams exchanged goals and with just under 14 minutes left in the game it was unclear which team would step up and put the game away.  Syracuse scared the home crowd with a three-goal run to go up 13-10 with just eight minutes left.  

However, a clutch save by BC’s Lauren Daly gave the Eagles enough momentum to fight back and tally on a couple goals to bring the score within one. Sam Apuzzo reminded everyone why she was this year’s Women’s Professional Lacrosse League #1 overall pick as she stripped the ‘Cuse goalie and scored to tie up the game with 1:40 left and complete a hat trick.

BC’s Taylor Walker iced the game off of a perfect feed from Dempsey Arsenault and the Eagles came out victorious once again. The final score was 14-13, and three Eagles finished with hat tricks on the day.  The victory against Syracuse marks the first time all season that the Eagles won by just one goal.

Now BC looks to claim the ACC title this Sunday at 1:00 against North Carolina, who they defeated 14-8 back on March 23.  Hopefully the Eagles can stay gritty and keep grinding as they progress closer and closer to a perfect season.  Come out to Alumni Stadium at 1 p.m. and see if BC will be hoisting a trophy on Sunday afternoon.

Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.

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