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Superia Clark celebrates Syracuse's 14-12 win over North Carolina at Dorrance Field.

Syracuse Improves to 15-0, Snaps North Carolina's 41-Game Home Winning Streak

April 15, 2023
Daniel Wei
Peyton Williams

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Among all of Meaghan Tyrrell’s memorable wins, this one sits near the top of her list.

In her first four years of college lacrosse, the Syracuse graduate attacker had never defeated juggernaut North Carolina. She’s played in some big contests — including a national championship game in 2021 — but few compare to Saturday’s 14-12 win on UNC’s home turf.

“It feels huge,” Tyrrell said. “This is something I’ve been waiting on for five years, so I can’t even describe how good it feels.”

The win snapped North Carolina’s 41-home game winning streak and improved the Orange’s unblemished 15-0 record. Tyrrell notched two goals and four assists, while her sister, Emma — whose absence was crucial in last season’s loss to the Tar Heels — tallied a game-high four goals and two assists.

Meaghan Tyrrell also passed her coach, Kayla Treanor, for second on Syracuse’s all-time points list (394). She is two away from tying all-time leader Katie Rowan (396).

While the Tyrrell sisters shouldered Syracuse’s offense, perhaps no player delivered more in crucial moments than senior goalkeeper Delaney Sweitzer, who finished with a career-high 15 saves.

“She’s just unreal,” Meaghan Tyrrell said. “We are so lucky to have her in our cage — I would hate to shoot against her.”

Sweitzer showcased a plethora of lightning-fast reflexes throughout the afternoon, catching point-blank lasers and seeing through deceptive plays. Midway through the second quarter, UNC redshirt sophomore Reilly Casey attempted a wide open behind-the-back shot, only leading to another unfazed Sweitzer save.

“She’s got to be a top five best player in college lacrosse right now,” Treanor said. “Her performance was a huge statement today, and she helped us a lot.”

The top-ranked Orange look primed to make a national championship run in May. The Tar Heels, on the other hand, aren’t thinking about defending their title at the moment.

While loaded with talent, the Tar Heels are still young. Prior to Saturday’s bout, 38.5 percent of their goals this season had been from true first-year players.

“I don’t ever see that we’re ‘defending’ anything,” UNC head coach Jenny Levy said. “I think it’s a new year, and we’re seeking another opportunity to compete for a national title. That’s how we look at it; there’s new players out there. We wanna position ourselves to be as good as we can be against any opponent.”

With 4:10 remaining, Casey tied the score at 12. But 19 seconds later, a UNC defensive collapse led to Emma Tyrrell finding a wide-open Megan Carney next to the cage, and Carney buried the shot. Then, with 1:12 left to play, Emma Tyrrell nailed the dagger on a high feed from Emma Ward, and the Orange never looked back.

Although UNC outshot Syracuse 35-25, its offensive struggles were evident down the stretch, as the Tar Heels were held scoreless in the final four minutes.

“As we’re continuing to grow and get better, the number one thing that I take away from this is that we can’t have lapses,” Levy said. “We gotta finish the moments that we have. You can’t be a shooter; you’ve gotta be a finisher. Our program prides itself on being finishers, and we obviously have some work to do on it.”

While North Carolina will wrap its regular season at Duke on Thursday, Syracuse will play Boston College looking to make program history. Saturday’s victory tied a program record of 15 consecutive wins, and beating the Eagles would cap a perfect regular season.

Sweitzer, in particular, is looking to build off her career game and is confident that the Orange can get it done.

“We can play anywhere, no matter what,” Sweitzer said. “This whole season we’ve been prepared for every game that we’ve played.”