Syracuse women’s lacrosse falls to North Carolina in ACC championship game, 9-4 (full coverage)

Down three goals with just a quarter of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game remaining, Syracuse desperately needed to regain momentum. The Orange lined up for the draw control, in need of its first draw win in the second half. As the ball flew up into the air and bounced along the right side, Ella Simkins scrambled to collect it and scanned for a pass.

With UNC keyed on Simkins, Sierra Cockerille made a run in behind the Tar Heels’ backline. Simkins spotted her teammate and lobbed a long 20-yard skip pass to a wide-open Cockerille. The midfielder gathered the ball with no defender within five yards of her, and wound up for a shot that should’ve been destined for the back of the net. Instead, it flew harmlessly over the top.

“I think (if) we have a couple players step up on the offensive end, we’re in that game,” head coach Gary Gait said. “We had the opportunities, we had a couple players that had some great looks, and they just were off today on the offensive end.”

Sunday afternoon, No. 2-seed Syracuse (14-3, 8-2 ACC) fell 9-4 to No. 1-seed North Carolina (18-0, 9-0) in the ACC Tournament final. The defense and Asa Goldstock held the Tar Heels to a season-low nine goals, but SU’s offense managed just nine shots on goal as the unit sputtered out. Missed chances and offensive turnovers prevented Syracuse from overcoming the gap between itself and ACC powerhouse UNC, which sealed its inevitable fifth-straight ACC championship.