Questionable end to Florida-Syracuse lacrosse

By Adam Silverstein
May 26, 2012

Syracuse completed a monumental comeback against Florida in lacrosse on Friday in the Final Four of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, erasing a seven-goal deficit to tie the match with 30 seconds remaining in regulation and eventually winning 14-13 by scoring a goal in sudden death overtime.

However, before the Orange netted that game-winning goal, the Gators had a similar strike rescinded after referees were asked to look at the legality of the stick carried by Florida junior attacker Gabi Wiegand, the player who scored what might have been a game-winning goal with nine seconds left in the first overtime.

Referees determined that the lace on Wiegand’s stick was too deep and took the goal away, necessitating the sudden death scenario in which Syracuse senior midfielder Sarah Holden wound up scoring and winning the match for her team.

After Holden’s goal, UF responded just as SU did minutes earlier and asked the referees to look at her stick. It was determined that the depth of the lace on Holden’s stick was legal, the goal was allowed and the Orange went on to celebrate their victory.

But was Holden’s stick tampered with following her goal and before referees evaluated it?

In the video below, a replay of the goal that aired as the broadcast was about to end, it is obvious that another Syracuse player grabbed the stick out of Holden’s hand and tugged or pulled at it. Did she make an adjustment that turned an illegal stick into a legal one? Did she wind up doing nothing to the stick (or was it legal anyway)? That is unknown and not likely to be proven one way or another.

You be the judge.

Despite the actions that the video may or may not depict, a potentially missed illegal stick call is not to blame for the Gators’ heartbreaking loss on Friday. That responsibility goes to UF’s players who had a national championship game appearance within reach but faltered down the stretch and allowed SU to get back in and eventually win the match.


  1. Gatorgrad79 says:

    The Syracuse player made a DEFINITE adjustment to the basket – was it legal before or not – no one will ever know, but losing a 7 goal advantage is the reason the Gator women lost. Well, there is no ‘next level’ for Lacrosse players, so will everyone be back next year to pursue a championship? Let’s hope so!!

  2. Mark says:

    I wish you also had video that compares the stick checks for both the UF player and the SU player. The official clearly pushes the ball down as far as it will go in the UF player’s net, while she gently places it in the SU player’s net and glances at it for less than a second before declaring it legal. We got jobbed by both the refs and the cheating SU player. Yes, the players let SU come back from a big deficit, but despite that they held on to score what should have been the winning goal, had the officials not screwed them.

    This was just as egregious as FSU 03.

  3. Ken (CA) says:

    I heard about this as a newsbreak during softball, but wasn’t sure which team it happened to, caught it at the end. Not sure what that video shows, though, it only shows Syracuse’ winning goal, not the stick check on the gators.

  4. Decaf4me says:

    She certainly tugged at something, although I doubt she knew she was correcting a real deficiency. Might or might not have been an issue. Fast thinker! You want one of those on your team!

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