Field Hockey

No. 2 Syracuse field hockey upset by No. 19 Wake Forest in 1st round of ACC tournament

Sam Ogozalek | Staff Writer

Wake Forest didn't win a conference game during the regular season but upset Syracuse in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

No. 2 Syracuse (14-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 19 Wake Forest (11-7, 0-6 Atlantic Coast) in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Thursday afternoon. After facing an early 3-1 deficit at halftime, Syracuse climbed its way back into the game to force overtime with each team knotted at three.

But the seventh-seeded Demon Deacons outlasted the second-seeded Orange, prevailing with a 4-3 overtime victory. The win marks Wake Forest first ACC victory of the season. WFU became the first team since Duke in 1993 to win an ACC tournament game after not winning a regular season game in conference play.

Wake Forest came out firing on all cylinders in the first frame. The Demon Deacons’ Jule Grashoff found the back of the net just six minutes into the game. After spending most of the next 12 minutes scrambling in the defensive zone, Syracuse answered. Junior back Lies Lagerweij roofed a penalty stroke just beneath the crossbar to tie the game at one with 16:49 left in first half action.

The persistent attack proved to be too much for Syracuse in the opening half, though. Wake Forest tallied 11 shots while earning six penalty corners in the first half. Wake Forest scored both its second and third goals off penalty corners, with goals coming from Madi Julius and Emily Adamson.

On the other side, Syracuse managed just three shots to go along with one penalty corner opportunity in the opening half. Goalie Regan Spencer had an uncharacteristically low .500 save percentage, as she tallied just four saves in the game.

Syracuse flipped the script in the second, scoring two penalty corners of its own to bring the score back to even. Sophomore back Roos Weers scored both penalty corners for SU. Weers scored her first goal off an insert from Emma Lamison. Just a minute and a half later, Weers scored again off an insert from Nijsje Venrooy.

The Orange tallied nine shots in the final frame of regulation, including a second penalty stroke for Lies Lagerweij. The powerful back attempted to lift the ball into the top left corner of the net, similar to her first stroke, but Wake Forest goalkeeper Cat O’Connor was ready for the placement and blocked the ball out of play. O’Connor recorded four saves in the game.

Following a failed corner attempt from Syracuse in the overtime period, Wake Forest pounced on the opportunity. Sarah Thornhill snuck past the Orange defense and shot the ball into the corner of the net to complete the upset

Syracuse will now wait to get its seeding and first round matchup for the NCAA tournament, which begins next weekend. Play-in games start Nov. 9, while the first and second rounds are Nov. 12-13.

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