No. 6 Syracuse blasted by Boston College, 21-10, in season-ending loss
Codi Hendrix | Staff Photographer
There was little Syracuse reaction to Boston College’s 14th goal, which doubled up SU’s score for the fifth time of the game. The Orange’s starting attacks put their hands on their hips, and BC players huddled near the crease. Save for a few fist bumps, BC hardly showed elation. They had already picked apart SU’s zone defense enough.
The Eagles, which earned a date with Syracuse on Sunday by smoking Canisius on Friday in the first round, struck first and did not ease up. No. 6 seed Syracuse’s (15-7, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) season ended Sunday afternoon, with a 21-10 loss to Boston College (15-6, 3-4) in the second round of the NCAA tournament at SU Soccer Stadium. In February, the Orange had beaten the Eagles by 10 goals, but the defense had been stingier then. Over its last two games, the SU defense allowed 39 goals.
“They moved the ball as good as anyone I’ve ever seen,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “They were spinning it, finding people inside. They were tough to stop … They’re a totally different team.”
SU lost three of its last five games of 2017 and failed to win its opening round NCAA game for the first time in 10 years. The Orange had advanced to the national semifinals each of the last five seasons, but suffered an early exit this year in what was Syracuse’s sixth consecutive NCAA appearance and 10th in the last 11 years.
The Eagles and Orange last met in February inside the Carrier Dome, where SU used a 6-0 run to down BC, 18-8. Junior attack Riley Donahue posted a career-high seven points in the win.
On Sunday, the Eagles struck first on a wide open lane for Kate Weeks. Gait mouthed to himself, “That was horrible, so bad,” as BC took a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the bout. After the Eagles went up 6-3, amid a first half during which they capitalized on SU’s failed clears and 11 Syracuse turnovers, players waived clipboards in the air.
By halftime, Boston College commanded a 12-7 advantage. BC continued its offensive firepower in the second half. When a BC goal made it 19-9 with 11:22 remaining, a handful of SU fans began to exit. A light drizzle fell.
“The girls kicked it into high gear after we got our butts kicked last time,” BC head coach Acacia Walker said.
It was a see-saw season for the Orange, which began the year 7-0. SU lost four of its next five, including sizable losses to Maryland, Florida, Notre Dame and Princeton. The Orange then won seven of its next eight, before falling to North Carolina in the conference tournament two Sundays ago.
Down 15-7, Devon Parker’s lefty snipe and Nicole Levy’s top-shelf score pulled SU within six with 18 minutes on the clock. Syracuse scored only once more and watched as time ran out.
“It was a roller coaster (season),” Gait said. “I think that’s what happens when you’re as young as we are and you lose the veteran squad we had last year. We just showed our youth with our mistakes.”
Published on May 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm