lax 4/3

Paige Petty drives through Syracuse's defense to the goal. The Hokies fell to the Orange 14–13. 

The Virginia Tech lacrosse team suffered a tough 14–13 loss against the Syracuse Orange on Wednesday and fell to 1–3 in ACC play (8–6 overall). The Hokies faced their second top-five ranked opponent on the road in the last two weeks. With another road matchup against the No. 4 ranked Notre Dame coming up on Sunday, an opportunity for a momentum-shifting win, unfortunately, slipped through Tech’s hands.

Tech got out to a sluggish start, falling to 4–0 in the first four minutes of the game. The Orange won draw controls and forced turnovers against the Hokies in the opening minutes, but Tech seemed determined not to get blown out a second game in a row. Although the Hokies were out-shot 17–14 in the first period, including getting beat 14–9 on shots on goal, strong performances from Paige Petty and Julia Bolte kept the deficit to only 10–6 at halftime.

Virginia Tech continued to battle in the second half, keeping the game within reach each time the Orange looked like they were pulling away. With 17 minutes left in the game, Syracuse stretched its lead back up to five, and it was time for the Hokies to start their comeback. Both teams buckled down on defense, not allowing a goal for 10 consecutive minutes of play, but Tech broke the standoff with a goal from Emma Crooks with just seven and a half minutes to play.

Yet another scoring drought, this one lasting for roughly five minutes, plagued both teams as they gritted their teeth and remained firm on defense. Tech began to capitalize with goals from Emma Harden, Kelci O’Donnell and Taylor Caskey to cut the lead to 14–13. With their last goal coming with 30 seconds left, it was too little too late for the Hokies in an overall impressive comeback effort.

There are some positives to take away from this game for the Hokies, as the Orange did not score a single goal for the final 17 minutes of the game. Petty led the way for the Hokies with five goals off six shots on goal, while Bolte was everywhere on the field scooping up a team-leading three ground balls and added five assists.

"On the field, I thought that Paige played well and Julia Bolte was good feeding all day with all of her assists," said head coach John Sung after the game. 

The Hokies also showed the ability to battle back in a game against a tough opponent, gritting their teeth to make sure the Orange couldn’t distinguish their lead any further. As the season continues on, the experience that comes with facing the best ACC teams early on should prove valuable down the road as Tech builds off this matchup.

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