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Syracuse upsets No. 1 Florida 14-13 in semis

Friday - 5/25/2012, 11:58pm  ET

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) - Sarah Holden scored her fourth goal with 2:02 remaining in double overtime and No. 4 Syracuse upset top-seeded Florida 14-13 on Friday to advance to its first women's lacrosse national championship game.

Holden made a move from up top and buried a bounce shot by Florida goaltender Misty Meagher.

"It actually was kind of slow motion," Holden said. "I remember specifically the first play of the game when we were in our set offense, and I went low and the goalie made a save.

"I was 100-percent certain that would not happen to me again. So, I just did a split dodge (move), buried it and it went in."

The goal completed the second-largest comeback in NCAA Division I tournament history. In the 2007 semifinals, Duke blew a nine-goal lead against Virginia, which scored the final 10.

The win gave Syracuse its first victory against a top-ranked team in 16 tries.

"We just didn't give up," Syracuse coach Gary Gait said. "We fought to the very end, and did whatever it took to get the job done. Sometimes, it takes a lucky bounce here or there, but we just kept getting them."

Michelle Tumolo and Alyssa Murray added three goals apiece for the Orange (19-3), who overcame a pair of seven-goal deficits and will face Northwestern _ a 9-7 winner over Maryland in the second semifinal _ on Sunday night.

"I think it's been our whole motto this year," Tumolo said. "We look at each other in the eyes, and we don't give up. We had each other's back. Each one of these girls looked me in the eye and said, 'we are not going to lose this game no matter what happens.'"

Shannon Gilroy scored five goals for Florida (19-3), which failed to become the first program in its third year of existence to reach the championship game. Brittany Dashiell added four goals for the Gators, who blew leads of 11-4 and 12-5.

Florida appeared to have won with nine seconds remaining in the first overtime but Gabi Wiegand's low shot was disallowed when officials ruled she was using an illegal stick.

"We were obviously elated," Florida coach Amanda O'Leary said. "It was a great play we set up. Unfortunately, stick checks are part of the game and they found it was illegal."

The illegal stick was brought to the attention of the officials by Murray, who was the closest Syracuse player to any official.

"If it's the winning goal or the tying goal, you just want to make sure if there's anything you can do to call it back," Murray said. "We're fighting for our lives out there."

Backup goaltender Kelsey Richardson made four saves after replacing Alyssa Costantino in the second half. Among Richardson's saves included key stops on Gilroy and Dashiell as the Orange were starting their comeback.

The Gators held their second seven-goal lead after Dashiell scored with 17:15 remaining. Syracuse answered with three straight goals in a span of 3:49 and was within 12-8 on Murray's goal at 7:49.

Florida scored its last goal when Gilroy beat Richardson with 7:19 left, but less than a minute later, Holden scored the first of five straight goals for Syracuse. Among them was the tying goal when she moved in on Meagher and scored on a low shot from the center hash mark.

"The game is never over," Gilroy said, "until the buzzer goes off."


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)