UNC advances to 2019 ACC men’s lacrosse semifinals with comeback victory over Syracuse

Chapel Hill, NC – Down three goals late in the fourth quarter, No. 5 seed North Carolina staged a furious comeback to take an 11-10 victory over fourth-seeded Syracuse in the first round of the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship Thursday evening in Chapel Hill.  

UNC lacrosse team prepares to run onto the field to start the game against Syracuse in the first round of the 2019 lacrosse tournament in Chapel Hill, NC. (photo by Gene Galin)

The Tar Heels, who won first the first time in school history when trailing Syracuse in the fourth quarter, advanced to face top seed Virginia in Saturday’s semifinal at 2 p.m. on ESPNU.  

UNC’s Brian Cameron tries to slip the ball past the Syracuse defenders. (photo by Gene Galin)

“I’m just so proud of the guys and the coaches for continuing to stick to the plan,” said UNC head coach Joe Breschi. “We’ve been so close in so many games and fallen short and it almost felt like it was heading in that direction again. For these guys to just continue to battle like they have all year and finally for it to go our way – we earned it, we absolutely earned it – that’s a credit to the guys in the locker room.”

Syracuse lacrosse players celebrate goal against UNC. (photo by Gene Galin)

Syracuse looked to be in control after posting three consecutive goals in the fourth quarter to grab a 10-7 lead with 6:12 remaining. UNC’s comeback started with a goal from midfielder Matt Gavin at the 3:46 mark. Attackman Brian Cameron followed with a goal at 3:07, and face-off specialist Zachary Tucci tied the game six seconds later. The Tar Heels scored three goals in 45 seconds to set the stage for the dramatic ending.  
Syracuse won the ensuing faceoff, but a shot by Orange midfielder David Lipka was saved by UNC goalie Caton Johnson. After a successful Carolina clear, Gavin scored the game-winner with 1:07 remaining.

UNC vs Syracuse face-off to start the game. (photo by Gene Galin)

Syracuse was led by junior attackman Bradley Voigt, who had four goals and assisted on another, and midfielder Jacob Buttermore, who added a hat trick and had an assist. It was the eighth time this season Voigt has recorded three-or-more goals. Nate Solomon also had a goal to extend his streak 30 consecutive games with a point.  

UNC and Syracuse lacrosse players scramble for the ball. (photo by Gene Galin)

The game was tight throughout and was tied at four at halftime. Neither team led by more than two goals until the fourth quarter.  

UNC vs Duke lacrosse game Photo Gallery