Wow! What a game. The emotional roller coaster of the 2016 ACC Tournament Championship game ended with Aly Messinger sprinting across the crease and bouncing one into the back of the net to give UNC their first ACC Tournament Championship since 2002 and just their second ever. It was one of the most improbable victories in recent history as the Tar Heels started the overtime down two players with both Marie McCool and Alex Moore getting yellow cards before the end of regulation.
Throughout the entire game, it was easy to write off the Tar Heels. At one point, the Heels were down 11-8 with just over 10 minutes to play. Prior to that, in the first half the Heels were down 7-3. Every time the Tar Heels have faced adversity in the 2016 they have come storming back. Goals by Tracy, Messinger and Devlin tied the game at 11 with just under nine minutes to go. All three seniors have played in some huge games in their four years at UNC and stepped up big just when the team needed them.
Just when one thought the Tar Heels were back in it, Syracuse came back with two goals of their own to go up 13-11. Almost everyone thought this game was over. Everyone expect the young women wearing Carolina Blue. Seniors Devlin and Tracy scored goals near the end of the half to tie it up. With 47.5 seconds left, Ela Hazer put one in the back of the net to give the Tar Heels the lead for good. Well, so we thought.
Marie McCool won the draw control with around 30 seconds to play and the Tar Heels called timeout. Unfortunately, it was deemed that McCool was using an illegal stick and the ball was awarded to Syracuse. In one of the craziest endings to a lacrosse game every, Kayla Treanor ended up with the ball in a scramble with less than a second to go and wildly threw it at the goal. With 0.2 seconds left the ball went into the back of the net to tie the game at 14.
The Tar Heels started the sudden death overtime down two players with McCool and Moore serving time for yellow cards. The Orange won the draw and called time out. The Tar Heels found a way to kill off the penalty and ended up being a player up with less than a minute to go due to a Syracuse yellow card. With 45 seconds left in the game, Aly Messinger bounced one past the Syracuse goalie to earn UNC their first ACC Tournament victory in over a decade.