Syracuse tops UNC, claims first ever field hockey title
The Syracuse field hockey team won the program's first National Championship and the first-ever women's National Championship at Syracuse University.
"I've been chasing this dream for 25 years," said head coach Ange Bradley.
Syracuse got on the board early after Liz sack drove baseline on the Tar Heel defense. She sent a pass out to Russell after drawing the goalkeeper. Russell buried the shot to give 'Cuse the lead. The goal mounted her point total to 139 in her career, tying Martina Loncaria for the all-time program lead.
Russell's goal came 8:30 into the game. Syracuse has scored in the first-10 minutes of each of the four NCAA Tournament games and five-of-six postseason games including the ACC Tournament.
Moments later, Alma Fenne took the ball into the circle on her own and fired a low-backhand shot into the lower right hand corner to up 'Cuse's lead to two.
The Tar Heels mounted a late push in the half, drawing a corner with 11 minutes remaining, but Jess Jecko made a huge save after the ball had gotten behind her to keep Carolina off the board.
North Carolina got on the board in the first-three minutes coming out of the break on a Gab Major deflection into the net.
Moments later, Jecko again came up big for the Orange, stopping a point-blank shot to preserve the Orange lead.
However, with 14 minutes left to play, the Tar Heels' Malin Evert netted the equalizer, but the Orange wouldn't let the momentum swing continue.
Zoe Wilson netted her first-career goal off a pass from Lies Lagerweij following an Orange corner to give the Orange the lead.
After North Carolina pulled its goalkeeper, Syracuse capitalized with Emma Lamison finishing a pass from Russell at the near post to go up two goals.
The Tar Heels kept the pressure up, drawing a penalty stroke in the waning moments, but Jecko came up big again, denying Nina Notman's stroke and giving the Orange a 4-2 win in the title game.