SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse women’s lacrosse team is going to back to the Final Four after junior Michelle Tumolo scored with five seconds remaining to give No. 4 seed Syracuse a 17-16 come-from-behind victory against No. 5 seed North Carolina (15-4) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship. The Orange (18-3 overall) fought back from a two-goal deficit in the final three minutes to earn the program’s third trip the national semifinals in the last five years. Syracuse will play top-seeded Florida on Friday, May 25 in Stony Brook, N.Y. The Orange beat the Gators 12-11 in two overtimes in the fourth game of the season.
Tumolo, the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year, played a role in each of Syracuse’s final three goals. With North Carolina leading 16-14, Tumolo keyed SU’s comeback.
“It’s like a dream,” Tumolo said of the game-winning goal. “I looked at the time and I didn’t want to give North Carolina enough time to get a run off the draw. I knew it was do or die.”
“I’m proud of the team,” said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. “They believed they could get it done. Every single player on the team stepped up at one point and made a huge play and that made the difference. They stuck together and gave themselves an opportunity to fight back and win that game. I give them all the credit, starting with Michelle Tumolo stepping up at the end.”
The Orange scored on its first five shots of the game and led 5-2 before North Carolina went on a 4-1 scoring run to tie the game at 6-6 at the 12:51 mark. The Orange regained the lead on sophomore Katie Webster’s free position goal, but UNC found the back of the net with 15 seconds left in the half as the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 7-7.
Sophomore Alyssa Murray finished with four points (3 goals, 1 assist) to become the third player in school history to record 100 points in a season. Webster added three goals. Syracuse outshot North Carolina, 35-22, and picked up 12 ground balls compared to four for the Tar Heels. SU held a slight advantage in draw controls, winning 18-of-35.
The Orange will be making the program’s third appearance in the Final Four. Syracuse advanced to the national semifinals in 2008 and 2010.
Courtesy Syracuse Athletic Communications